The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is the most important folk music and dance research resource in England. Our unique collection contains over 20,000 printed items dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, 10,000 audio items, 15,000 photographs and 30 major manuscript collections, cine-films, ephemera and artefacts – including line drawings, paintings, phonographs and costumes.
VWML has greatly benefitted from the financial support of numerous individuals, trusts and organisations since its foundation in 1930. This funding has helped maintain and develop the library to the extent that it has now achieved a unique status within the libraries and archives sectors and continues to innovate with projects such as The Full English.
Our new project to improve Cecil Sharp House focuses on restoring Kennedy Hall to its former glory as a magnificent dance hall and concert venue full of character and sophistication. This follows our recent successful fundraising campaign which enabled Cecil Sharp House to become fully accessible, lighter, brighter and more spacious.
Over the years Kennedy Hall has played host to some of the biggest names in folk and popular music including Martin & Eliza Carthy, Davy Graham, Shirley Collins, Maddy Prior, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman and Kate Rusby. Kennedy Hall has also hosted hundreds of dances, family events, classes, courses, conferences, lectures, exhibitions and more recently weddings.
Through using and sharing this space (often and generously), as well as hiring it to others, we are struggling to keep Kennedy Hall fit for purpose to host these events. We have a duty to preserve, improve upon and make safe the vital assets of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in Kennedy Hall for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.
We would love for you to help us Shape the Future of Kennedy Hall and support our campaign to continue improving the facilities at the House, providing a dynamic environment for audiences, participants, artists, volunteers and staff. Find out more about the necessary renovations on the Cecil Sharp House website.
Please consider making a gift to our campaign and help us reach our goal!
To donate £5 by mobile*, text STFC14 £5 to 70070.
If you would like to donate a different amount, simply change that part of the text message. For example, for £3 text STFC14 £3, or for £10 STFC14 £10.
Download a donation form and post a completed version back to us at:
Shape the Future,
Cecil Sharp House,
Make a donation over the telephone on +44(0)20 7485 2206 ext.225
Tell your family and friends about our campaign. Could you send an email, Tweet or Facebook post pointing people in the direction of this webpage?
We are grateful for any support, large or small to help us sustain and develop the work we do.
You can make a donation to support the day to day running and activities of the Library or you can give to a specific library project.
VWML always welcomes offers of collections or individual items that would enhance its value and depth as the national repository of folk arts materials. Acceptance is largely dependent on the relevance of the materials being offered and considerations such as available space.
As an EFDSS member you not only receive free entry to the library but your membership subscriptions help with our running costs too.
Become an EFDSS membership
The Full English: our most ambitious project to date
Find out more