Annotated Booklist of Mumming

Compiled by Ron Shuttleworth

Contents: ( * indicates items that
  are currently in print.)

This list originally appeared in my So You Want to Start Mumming- , (1984): 21-25.
[Many items have been added since the original publication.]

Books which have been written specifically about Mumming are:


Brody, Alan The English Mummers and Their Plays: Traces of Ancient Mystery
{University of Pennsylvania Publications in Folklore & Folklife, no.2.} University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. (1970) / Routledge & Kegan Paul. [1971] [ISBN 0-7100-7067-5] 215? / 185pp.

The first full-length work of scholarship since Chambers, q.v., although there is a suspicion that many of the ideas were cribbed from Alex Helm. Increases in the number of known plays caused shifts in what was considered significant. Recommended as the newcomer's second book.
3 texts: Netley Abbey, Hants. (H/C); Greatham, Co Durham (Sw); Bassingham, Lincs. (W).

Buckley, Anthony D. & Críostóóir MacCárthaigh & Séamas Ó Catháin & Séamus MacMathúna (eds) *? Border-Crossing: Mumming in Cross-Border and Cross-Community Contexts. Proceedings of a Conference held at the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages, University of Ulster, Derry, 9-13 June 2003.
Dundalgan Press. (2007) A5. 347pp.

15 scholarly papers read at the Conference, 3 of which are about traditions in Scandinavia. All serious stuff.

Cass, Eddie F. * The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play: A Social History
FLS Books. (2001) [ISBN 0-903515-22-9] B5-ish. 257? / 265pp.

The only book dedicated to this aspect of the Play. Excellent. Gazetteer of occurrences of the Play. Two case studies examine the revival of Middleton & Bury.
8 texts: Bury; Dendron; Hawkshead; Middleton; Radcliffe; ?; chapbook (Wrigley + Looney & Pilling).

See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cass, Eddie F. & Peter T. Millington (eds) * Folk Drama Studies Today. Papers given at the International Traditional Drama Conference 19-21 July, 2002, University of Sheffield, England.
Traditional Drama Research Group. (2003) [ISBN 0-9508152-3-3] A4. 264pp.

See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cass, Eddie F. & Stephen Roud / Malcolm Taylor & Doc Rowe (eds) * Room, Room, Ladies and Gentlemen: An Introduction to the English Mummers' Play.
EFDSS in association with the Folklore Society. (2002) [ISBN 0-854181-85-7] A5. 119pp.

A general and descriptive book written with regard to the needs of teachers. A serious and effective attempt to fill a gap in currently available books. Considered pricey.
9 texts: Middle Rasen, Lincs. (W); Chiddingfold, Surrey (H/C); Coxwold, N Yorks. (?); Sowerby, W Yorks. (?); Sedgefield, Co Durham (H/C); Bury, Lancs. (H/C); Tarvin, Ches. (Soul); Kempsford, Glos. (R.H.); chapbook (Wrigley).

See book reviews in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cawte, E.C., Alex Helm & Norman Peacock * English Ritual Drama: A Geographic Index
Folklore Society. (1967) A5. 132pp.

A most important book which, though ageing, is still the first place to seek information about plays from a specific area. The significance of the Index makes it easy to overlook this book's several discussive chapters, sample texts and most extensive list of references. Sadly the value as a tool is limited by quoting only the earliest (often obscure) source although the material may be reprinted more accessibly. Amendments and additions were published in the magazine Roomer, q.v., numbers 1:5; 2:2 & 5:2.
5 texts: Jerusalem, Lincs. (W); Gainford, Co Durham (Sw); Gainford, Co Durham (H/C); Romsey, Hants. (H/C); High Spen, Co Durham (H/C).

Chambers, Sir Edmund Kerchever * The English Folk Play
Clarendon Press, Oxford. (1933 / 1969) 148? / 248pp.

Deep but dated thinking, with five texts. Weak on Wooing Plays. Important, as it dissects the plays, creating the terminology to define the various parts of the action and the different characters. Recommended as the first book for a newcomer to Mumming. Chambers * discussed folk plays in his two-volume work The Mediaeval Stage Clarendon Press, Oxford. (1903) ?pp.. The later book repudiates this, but his earlier work seems more in accord with modern ideas.
5 texts: Ampleforth, N Yorks. (Sw); Bassingham, Lincs. (W-collated); Mylor, Cornwall (H/C); Revesby, Lincs. (Sw); Weston Sub Edge, Glos. (H/C); + 'normalised' text.

Gailey, Alan Irish Folk Drama
Mercier Press, Cork. (1969) A5. 100? 104pp.

Comprehensive; cites associated dramatic customs.
5 texts: Kilisher, Co Fermanagh; Killmore, Co Wexford; Knockloughrim, Co Derry; Malahide, Co Dublin; unlocated, Co Antrim.

Hayward, Brian Galoshins: The Scottish Folk Play
Edinburgh University Press. (1992) [ISBN 07486-0338-7] 300? 311pp.

I, A Socio-Cultural History; II, Commentary on the Performance. Texts. (Includes all known Scottish textual references except any recently acquired by the School of Scottish Studies). There have been suggestions that some of the references are not totally accurate, but this does not invalidate the importance of the book.
45 texts.

Helm, Alex The English Mummers' Play
{Mistletoe Series, no.14.} D.S. Brewer, Woodbridge. (1981) [ISBN 0-85991-067-9] A4. 121? 124pp.

The ideas seems a bit archaic, but must be viewed as the last (posthumous) work of an indefatigable collector, and prolific writer and lecturer.
18 texts.

Lyle, Emily B. (ed) * Galoshins Remembered
NMS Enterprises, Edinburgh. (2011) [ISBN 9781905267569] A5. 189pp.

This is a must for anyone interested in the folk-play in Scotland. After the 25pp. 'Introduction', it consists of transcribed verbatim interviews by the editor with people who have had personal experience of the play.
There are 14 'Recollections' from 13 locations: Melrose (x2); Morebattle; Hawick; Westruther; Biggar; Muirkirk; Kirkcowan; Newton Stewart; Armadale; Falkirk; Camelon; Dennyloanhead; Kippen. They contain remembered text, which is mostly interspersed with descriptions and comments.

Miller, Stephen Who Wants to See the White Boys Act? The Mumming Play in the Isle of Man - A Compendium of Sources
Chiollagh Books, Mannin. (2010) A5. 225pp.

The title says it all.

Parle, James * The Mummers of Wexford
JJP Publications, Drinagh. (2001) [ISBN 0-9540927-0-8] B5-ish. 527pp.

An amazing and surprisingly enthralling book which, mostly from newspapers and personal interviews, traces the detailed history of every mumming team in Wexford between 1907 and 1999. Many, many photos. Could be of interest to sociologists etc.
3 texts: Donabate; Enniscorthy; Wexford.

See my book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Tiddy, Reginald John Elliott The Mummers' Play
Clarendon Press, Oxford / Paul P.B. Minet, Chicheley. (1923 / 1972) [/ ISBN 85609-014-X] 257pp. / 257pp.

Texts and five discussive chapters based on lectures. The first specialised book, but posthumous so completeness of the ideas is uncertain.
31 texts.

Also important are:


Corrsin, Stephen D. *(? edition) Sword Dancing in Europe: A History
Hisarlik Press. (1997) [ISBN 1-874312-25-7] 9 1/2"x6". 290pp.

Glassie, Henry H. * All Silver and No Brass
Indiana University Press, Bloomington. (1975) [ISBN 0-253-30470-9] B5-ish. 192? 221pp.

The author visited over several years, studying a rural district on the Ulster border. He looked not at the plays but at the players and how they and their community benefited from the performances. This is a more sociological approach, but is still valid and interesting.

Halpert, Herbert & George M. Story (eds) * Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland. Essays in Anthropology, Folklore and History
University of Toronto Press. (1969 / 1990) [ISBN 0-8020-3200-1 / ISBN 0-8020-6767-0] 245? 258pp.

Early patterns of English traditions have sometimes been preserved in former colonial areas (cf 'Appalachian' ballads) and although "Mumming" here mostly means Christmas visiting in disguise, this excellent book gives insight into the feelings and beliefs of Mummers in an earlier age.
3 texts: St.John's; Change Islands; Salvage.

Tillis, Steve * Rethinking Folk Drama
{Contributions in Drama and Theatre Studies, no.83.} Greenwood. (1999) [ISSN 0163-3821 / ISBN 0-313-30753-9] B5. 226? 252pp.

Summarises and points deficiencies in the definitions made by each of many earlier writers, before proposing his own.

Other Authoritative Works are:


Allsop, Ivor / Anthony G. Barrand (ed) * Longsword Dances from Traditional and Manuscript Sources
Northern Harmony Publishing Ltd.. (1996) [ISBN 0-96277554-7-8] A4-landscape. 367? 368pp.

Dances mostly. Text of Revesby.

Cawte, E.C. Ritual Animal Disguise
{Mistletoe Series, no.?.} D.S. Brewer, Cambridge. (1978) [ISBN 0-85991-028-8] 293? 303pp.

With a 'Geographic Index'. A definitive work which includes the Ram and the Horse in plays.

Frampton, George E. * Discordant Comicals: The Christmas Hoodeners of East Kent, Tradition and Revival
{Faversham Papers, no.99.} The Faversham Society. (2006) [ISBN 1-900214-51-2] A4. 147pp.

Revisits Percy Maylam's authoritative work and brings it up to date. (The binding - flimsy card and two staples - does not do it justice.)

Maylam, Percy * The Hooden Horse, An East Kent Christmas Custom
Author, Canterbury. (1909) Qto. xv + 124pp.

Sharp, Cecil J. * Sword Dances of Northern England
Novello. 3 vols, (1911-1913) / EP Publishing. 1 vol, (1977) [ISBN 0-7158-1211-4] ?. / A6. 112 + 43 + 115pp. / 270pp.

Has dance notations, also play fragments, calling-on songs and text of Ampleforth.

Mention should be made, I suppose of:

Alford, Violet * The Hobby Horse and Other Animal Masks
Merlin. (1978) 211pp.

Alford, Violet Sword Dance and Drama
Merlin. (1962) 222pp.

Postulates that the dance is associated only with mining sites.

Welch, Charles Edgar, junior Oh Dem Golden Slippers: The Colourful Story of the Philadelphia Mummers' Parade
Thomas Nelson, New York. (1970) / Book Street Press, Philadelphia. 2nd rev. edn. (1991) 192pp. / ?pp.

The Mummers' Parade or 'PMP'. Has become a huge Mardi-Gras-type carnival, but one of its several roots may have been in English-style mumming. This is the authoritative book and is based on Welch's PhD.

Booklets on the Subject


Sizes A5-ish unless shown otherwise.

Not listed are some of the short, privately produced items which would now be very hard to find.

Bartlett, John Oke * "In Comes I..." (Volume 1) A Collection of Contemporary Mummers Plays
Plays and Musicals, Horsham. (2005) [ISBN 1 904458 83 1] 52pp.

6 composed texts. The price includes the royalties payable for performance.

Boyes, Georgina, Michael J.Preston & Paul Smith * Chapbooks and Traditional Drama, Part 2: Christmas Rhyme Books
{NATCECT Bibliographical and Special Series, no.2.} University of Sheffield. (1999) [ISSN 1466 7347] A4. 48? 46pp.

Irish and Ulster plays.
4 texts: chapbook (? + ? + ? + ?).

Brown, David & Tina * In Comes I: An English Mummers' Play
Cotswold Music Ltd., Tewkesbury. (1988) [ISBN 1-870635-02-7] A4. 18pp.

Aimed at Junior schools. Two pages of background, a topically-modified, collated text and how to make easy "to part" costumes. Score and band parts (Recorders etc.) for the Mummers' March.

Cass, Eddie F. * The Pace-Egg Plays of the Calder Valley
FLS Books. (2004) [ISBN 0-9035152-3-7] 70pp.

2 texts: Midgley; Heptonstall.
See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cass, Eddie F., Michael J.Preston & Paul Smith * The English Mumming Play: An Introductory Bibliography
FLS Books. {Bibliographies no.2.} (2000) [ISBN 0-903515210] 40pp.

See book review in Traditional Drama Forum.

Cawte, E.C. In Comes I: An Introductory Leaflet to the Mummers' Play
{Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Leaflet, no.?.} EFDSS. (1972) [ISBN ?] Foolscap folded. 20pp.

List of references available at the VWML.
1 text: Caldicott, Rutland. (H/C).

Corrsin, Stephen D. * Sword Dancing in Britain: An Annotated Bibliography
{Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Leaflet, no.21.} EFDSS. (1993 / 19??) [ISBN 0-85418-163-6] 34pp.

List of references available at the VWML.

Covey, Winton Sandy and Holly: A Mummers' Play for Christmas
Author. (1992 / 1995) A4-ish. 25? 23pp.

Composed text.

Doel, Geoff & Fran * Mumming, Howling and Hoodening: Midwinter Rituals in Sussex, Kent and Surrey
Meresborough Books, Rainham. (1992) [ISBN 0948193-743] 64pp.

3 texts: Compton, Sussex; Dover, Kent; Hindhead, Surrey.

Drake, Jon The Fool and the Hobby-Horse: Their Role In Ritual Drama of Britain
Southend Press, Garsington. [no date] 54pp.

Propounds a pagan Celtic origin.

Evans, Jack The Daft Days. Traditional Guisers' Plays from Lowland Scotland
Palindrome Publications. (1989) 55pp.

10 texts: Peebles; Galloway district, Kirkcudbrights. + Wigtowns.; Westruther + Spottiswoode, Berwicks.; Stirling; unloc, Angus; Bowden + Hawick + Morebattle + Melrose, Roxburghs..
[Can anyone help me get an actual copy?]

Gailey, Alan Christmas Rhymers and Mummers in Ireland
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1968) 44pp.

Fine appraisal, much information, two plates.
5 texts: Swords, Co Dublin; Forkhill, Co Armagh; Ballycarry, Co Antrim; Spamount, Co Tyrone; Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

Gittins, Martin "We Beg Your Leave..." an Account of the Middleton Pace-Egg Play and Other Customs of Eastertide
Author. (1984) 48pp.

Composed text.

Harwood, Henry W. & F.H. Marsden The Pace Egg. The Midgley Version
Authors. (1935) / David Bland, Halifax. (1977) 24pp.

History and composed text.

Hawkins, Paul *? The Titchfield Mummers. Spicing Up History
Titchfield Mummers. (1998) 48pp.

History and 5 composed texts.

Helm, Alex Cheshire Folk Drama
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1968) 58pp.

Notes, discussion, list of plays, two plates.
5 texts: Antrobus; Huxley; Utkinton; Warburton; Alderley Edge.

Helm, Alex * The Chapbook Mummers' Plays
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1969) 54pp.

Detailed consideration, analysis, lists of plays.

Helm, Alex Eight Mummers' Plays
Ginn and Company. (1971) [ISBN 0-602-21770-9] 72pp.

Lucid introductions and notes. Eight colour plates of costumes.
8 texts: Alderley, Ches. (Soul); Greens Norton, N'hants. (H/C); Chadlington, Oxon. (H/C); West Woodhay, Berks. (H/C); Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland (H/C); Hawick, Roxburghs. (H/C); Baronscourt, Co Tyrone (H/C); chapbook (Four Champions).

Helm, Alex The English Folk Play
Manchester District EFDSS. (1954) 41 + ?pp.

Vol.1 has two parts- 'A General Survey' and 'List of Sources' Vol.2 is
8 texts: Branston, Lincs. (W); Syresham, N'hants. (?); Burntwood, Staffs. (?); Thame, Oxon. (?); Castle Cary, Somerset (?); Broadway, Worcs. (?); Iping, W Sussex (?); Hibaldstow, Lincs. (W).
[Can anyone help me get an actual copy of Vol.2?]

Helm, Alex Five Mumming Plays for Schools
EFDSS / Folklore Society. (1965) 45pp.

Brief notes and four plates of costumes.
5 texts: Chithurst, W Sussex. (H/C); Lancaster. (H/C); Netley Abbey, Hants. (H/C); Plumtree, Notts. (W); Rudheath, Ches. (Soul).

Helm, Alex * Staffordshire Folk Drama
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1984) [ISBN 0-902065-08-4] 72pp.

15 texts: Armitage; Biddulph Moor; Brereton; Cheadle; Dales Green; Great Wyrley; Meir; Norton Canes; Penkridge; Upper Tean; Uttoxeter; Walsall Wood.

Helm, Alex & E.C. Cawte Six Mummers' Acts
Guizer Press, Ibstock. (1967) 48pp.

Notes, two plates, some sketches of costume.
6 texts: Brimington, Derbys. (?); Sulgrave, N'hants. (?); Holy Island, N'humberland (?); Burntwood, Staffs. (?); Belcoo, Co Fermanagh (?); Brattleby, Lincs. (W); Ab Kettleby, Leics. (W).

Jones, Kelvin I. (ed) * Cornish Mumming
Oakmagic Publications, West Rudham. (2010) [ISBN 978-1940330-061] 29pp.

5 texts: composed; unlocated; Redruth; St Keverne; Padstow.

Lawrence, David * The Mummers' Play: As Performed in North Curry, Somersetshire
Author. (2007) viii + 26pp with accompanying DVD.

Leach, Robert Vol.1: The World of the Folk Play / Vol.2: Folk Playtexts
Harrap. (1978) [ISBN 0-245-53207-2/3] Qto. 32 + 30pp.

Aimed at schools. Fair, but weak on Sword Plays as it ignores the need for a competent dance team. Less than practical on animal figures.
7 texts: unlocated, Staffs. (H/C); Weston-sub-Edge, Glos. (H/C); Comberbach, Ches. (Soul); Sheffield, W Yorks. (Tup); Gainford, Co Durham (Sw); Bassingham, Lincs. (W); Robin Hood and Friar Tuck (medieval).

Marshall, Chas & Stuart Rankin * The Return of the Blue Stots: An Aspect of Traditional Drama in Yorkshire
Dockside Studios. (2003) A4. 55pp.

5 texts: unlocated; Haxby; Helperby; Skelton on Ure; Topcliffe.

See book review in Traditional Drama Forum

Millington, Peter T. *? An Interim List of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays and Related Customs
Author, Long Eaton / Traditional Drama Research Group. (1980 / 1984) [/ ISBN 0-9508152-1-7] 42pp. / 42pp.

Pearce, Brian We Are Six Dancers Bold... A History of the Greatham Sword Dance
Author {on behalf of Redcar Sword Dancers}, Ormesby. (2001) 20pp.

Pennick, Nigel *? The Derby Ram: An English Traditional Song & Mummers' Play
The Library of The European Tradition. (1999) 8pp.

Pettitt, Thomas Ritual and Vaudeville: The Dramaturgy of the English Folk Plays
Pre-publications of the English Institute of Odense University, no.19. (Oct 1981) 15pp.

Reprinted in Traditional Drama Studies, q.v., 2. (1988) pp.45-68.

Pettitt, Thomas New World Traditions in the Study of Early English Custom and Customary Drama
Odense American Studies, International Series, Working Paper no.23. (Aug 1996) [ISSN 0908 2271] 19pp.

Reprinted in Carnival & the Carnivalesque: The Fool, The Reformer, The Wildman and Others in Early Modern Theatre (1999) pp.263-281.

Preston, Michael J., M.Georgina Smith & Paul S. Smith An Interim Checklist of Chapbooks Containing Traditional Play Texts
History of the Book Trade in the North, Newcastle. (1976) A4. 51? 52pp.

Essential tool for the study of the chapbooks.

Preston, Michael J., M.Georgina Smith & Paul S. Smith * Chapbooks and Traditional Drama, Part 1: Alexander and the King of Egypt Chapbooks
{CECTAL Bibliographical and Special Series, no.2.} University of Sheffield. (1977) [ISSN 0309 9229] A4. 38pp.

3 texts: chapbook (? + ? + ?).

Preston, Michael J., M.Georgina Smith & Paul S. Smith * Morrice Dancers at Revesby: reproduced from the manuscript in the British Library
{CECTAL Facsimiles, no.1.} University of Sheffield. (1976) A4. 36pp.

Preston, Michael J. & Paul S. Smith * "A petygree of the Plouboys oR modes dancers songs". The Morris Dance at Revesby: A Facsimile of the 1779 Manuscript in the Lincolnshire Archives
{NATCECT Facsimiles, no.2.} University of Sheffield. (1999) [ISSN 1466 6928] A4. 43? 53pp.

With introduction and commentary.

Roud, Stephen Mumming Plays in Oxfordshire: An Interim Checklist
Traditional Drama Research Group. (1984) 40pp.

Comprehensive list. Map.
2 texts: Deddington; Chadlington.

Roud, Stephen & Malcolm Bee Berkshire Mumming Plays: A Geographical Index and Guide to Sources
Folklore Society Library Publications, no.7. (1991) [ISBN 1-871903-25-4] 75pp.

Gives the text of many of the references. Map.
3 texts: Chosley; Cumnor; Thatcham.

Roud, Stephen & Paul Marsh * Mumming Plays in Hampshire
Authors. 7th edn. (1980) A4. 36pp.

Geographic listing. Map.

Seymour, Alan J. * Pace Egging in Bury and Beyond
Author on behalf of Bury Pace Eggers, Bury. (1994) [ISBN 0-9523336-0-0] 25pp.

Shuttleworth, Ron Kenneth *? Introducing the Folk Plays of England
Author, Coventry / Author, Coventry. (1984 / 2011) [ISBN 0-9510140-0-5] 18pp. / 16pp.

Very basic answers to the question "What's it all about".By the compiler of this booklist.

Shuttleworth, Ron Kenneth *? So You Want to Start Mumming- Options Pitfalls and Suggestions
Author, Coventry / Author, Coventry. (1984 / 1994) [ISBN 0-9510140-1-3] 20pp. / 26pp.

Cannot be praised too highly and should be bought by all. Packed with information, dispensed with wit and style, it would be excellent value at twice the price. By the compiler of this booklist.

Smith, Paul & Georgina Christmas Greetings
SLF / CECTAL. (1972 / 1976) 22pp. / 22pp.

Smith, G., P.S. Smith & J.D.A. Widdowson * Traditional Drama
{SLF Research Guide, no.1.} / {CECTAL Research Guide, no.1} University of Sheffield. (1972 / 1977) 8pp. / 8pp.

Smith, Paul S. & John D.A. Widdowson (eds) * Traditional Drama Studies
CECTAL and Traditional Drama Research Group. (1985-1996) [ISSN 0268-5752]

Academic but important. A cumulative list of contents is available online at

1. 1985. [/ ISBN 0-907426-01-8] 68? 67pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conference 1978.

2. 1988. [/ ISBN 0-907426-02-6] 72? 68pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conferences 1978/1979/1981.

3. 1994. [/ ISBN ?] 60pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conferences 1979/1982/1985.

4. 1996. [/ ISBN ?] 75pp.
Papers read at the Traditional Drama Conferences 1978/1979.

Spratley, Philip Mid East Mumming: A Selection of Folk Plays from the East Midlands
/ East Midlands Mumming: A Selection of Folk Plays from the East Midlands

EFDSS / Kesteven Edition, Deeping St James in association with the EFDSS. (1977 / 2011) [/ ISBN 9780854182152] 28pp. / 32pp.

3 texts: Claypole, Lincs. (W); Staunton, Lincs. (W); Cropwell Bishop, Notts. (W) plus the "Poor Old 'Oss". / A new 'Introduction' and an extra text: unlocated, Leics. (?).

Ulster-American Folk Park * Mummers' Plays: A Resource Booklet for Schools
Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh. [no date] A4. 26pp.

Ulster-American Folk Park * Mummers: A Resource Booklet for Teachers
Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh. [no date] A4. 21pp.

Rattle up my Boys: A Quarterly Publication For those With An Interest In Sword Dancing *
Editor. (1987-) A4.

Has published a wealth of detail about Papa Stour and occasionally other traditions with Play associations.

Current editor - Andrew Kennedy, 88 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Lancashire, PR1 0HT. 01772 748 976. Andrew @

Roomer: The Newsletter of the Traditional Drama Research Group *
Traditional Drama Research Group. (1980-1991) A4.

Important material, much of it contributed by academics. A cumulative list of contents, author, place and subject indexes are also available online at

Traditional Drama Forum: The Online Newsletter of the Traditional Drama Research Group *
Traditional Drama Research Group. (2000-) [ISSN 1743-3789]

Since October 2000, Roomer has been superseded by Traditional Drama Forum.

Many of the above have lists of references and further reading.

Much of this material can be found at one or more of the following:


Most books can be obtained through the inter-library loan service. This usually works on several levels. Requesting a book may produce the reply that it is "not available", but this often means locally. Persistence will generate increasingly wide enquiries which will usually be successful in the end.

Some University libraries allow public access and house books on folklore

National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) [formerly the Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language (CECTAL); itself formed from the Survey of Language and Folklore (SLF)]
Address: University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN
Tel: 0114 222 7299
e-mail: lib-special @

The Archives of Cultural Tradition have been moved to the Special Collections Department of the University Library.
Their important Collections include those of Dave Bathe, Alex Helm (microfilm copy) and Thomas Fairman Ordish (xerox copy).

Folklore Society (FLS)
Address: The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB
Tel: 020 7862 8562
Fax: 020 7862 8565
e-mail: enquiries @

The access details for their important Library are too complex to explain here, so contact them about it.
Their important Collections includes that of Thomas Fairman Ordish.

English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)
Address: 2 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 7AY
Tel: 020 7485 2206
e-mail: library @

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library lends books to Members and charges others a small daily fee for access.
It holds runs of magazines and journals and many manuscript texts and has many important Collections including that of James Madison Carpenter (microfilm copy).

The Morris Ring [a national organisation for male Morris Dancers, Swordsmen and Mummers]
Addresses and Tels for officers, such as their Bagman (Secretary), change.
e-mail: RingBagman @

They have an active and expanding Archive.

Finding Play Texts:


For texts from a specific locality, first consult the Geographic Index, Galoshins, etc. Your Local Studies Centre or County Archive may have material. but many older archives store folk plays under the names of their villages, which can be tedious. You could approach the bodies listed above, who might help or tell you of some local specialist.

If you do find unpublished texts or information please document them fully for those who come after, ideally sending copies to the EFDSS and the Morris Ring. Put them into your local Archives - where any donation, even printed material, improves your standing with archivists who treat you much better as a contributor.

In the Pipe-Line:


Items believed to be 'forthcoming' [but don't hold your breath!]

An Interim Checklist of Chapbooks Containing Traditional Play Texts
Expanded and updated 2nd edn.

Chapbooks and Traditional Drama, Part 3: The Peace Egg

© Copyright 2001-2013 by Ron Shuttleworth (, Last updated: 07/01/2013
Traditional Drama Research Group, Contact: