The Flanders Ballad Collection is one of the nation’s great archival collections of New England folk song, folklore, and balladry.
From 1930 through 1960, Helen Hartness Flanders collected more than 4,800 field recordings of New England folk songs and ballads as part of her work for the Committee on Traditions and Ideals of the Vermont Commission on Country Life.
Primarily of Anglo-American origin, but also including some Franco-American music and fiddle tunes, the songs were recorded on wax cylinder, disc, and reel-to-reel magnetic tape. In addition to the content, the song’s formats document the evolution of recording technology in the mid-20th century.
Other Flanders Resources
Flanders donated other materials from her collection to Middlebury, including her personal research library containing more than 1,000 books on American folk song, folklore, and balladry, dating from the late 18th through mid-20th centuries; over 600 broadsides; more than 200 songsters and hymnals; original 18th and 19th century music manuscripts; an archive of transcriptions of songs; as well as Flanders’ personal and professional correspondence and business records.