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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1470

William Macmath Scottish ballad transcripts


Autograph manuscripts and transcripts of Scottish ballads collected by William Macmath.


  • Creation: 1873-1896

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.75 linear feet (8 volumes)

Collection includes transcripts of texts of ballads collected by William Macmath, Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, William Findlay, James Skene, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Pitcairn, and Mary Monica Maxwell-Scott. Transcripts have been annotated by Francis James Child and George Lyman Kittredge.

Biographical / Historical

William Macmath (1844-1922) was a scholar and collector of Scottish ballad text. He transcribed numerous Scottish ballad manuscripts and sent the copies to Harvard professor, Francis James Child. Child used these texts in his research for his English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898). After Child's death in 1898, Harvard professor George Lyman Kittredge continued the research.


Arranged alphabetically by title.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired and purchased from various sources, various dates. See individual items for full acquisition information.

Related Materials

See also MS Eng 862.1 and MS Eng 862 for additional ballad-related transcriptions made by William Macmath.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Macmath, William, 1844-1922. William Macmath Scottish ballad transcripts, 1873-1896: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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