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    Broadside Ballads Online

    Key Facts About This Resource

    Fields Class, Crime and Punishment, Economics, Empire and Imperialism, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Military, Political, Religion
    Geographic Focus Great Britain and Ireland
    Chronology 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s
    • Price

    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By



    This is a project sponsored by Oxford University's Bodleian Library. The library has digitized their vast collection of English ballads, which frequently appeared in newspapers and other published sources. These ballads cover everything from romantic love to political satire. They are an excellent source for cultural/social historians or those with an interest in English literature/poetry. 

    The search feature makes this a particularly useful resource. I particularly like that you can search by theme. However, the system also allows you to do more sophisticated searches if you are looking for something in particular. The creators of this project have recently also introduced a limited image search capability. 

    What to Know:

    • This is a great resource for teaching. It allows you to give students direct access to primary sources, and then have fun analyzing them together. 
    • The topics covered in this database are extensive. There is something for any project you might be working on. 

    About Jonathan

    I am currently an Adjunct Professor of History at Lynchburg College in Virginia. I received my PhD in Modern British History from Florida State University in 2016. My research explores the way in which competing definitions of masculinity influenced army reform in the mid-nineteenth century. Civilians called for moral reforms; however, they were constantly hampered by politician and military officials' financial concerns. This work offers a number of interventions in the current historiography by exploring issues of corporal punishment, soldiers' sexuality, military suicide, and soldiers' families. 

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