This database is an inventory of about 3,700 records on British & Irish
folk plays, Morris dancing and related traditions, collected
by the late Alex Helm, and deposited in the Special Collections of University College London Library.
Microfilm copies of the collection are in the Archives of the
National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) at the University of Sheffield and the Chris Metherell Collection.
A handlist was
originally compiled in 1982 at the University of Sheffield by Ervin
Beck (now Goshen College, Indiana) and Paul Smith (now Memorial
University of Newfoundland). It was prepared from the poorly legible microfilm copy
of the collection, which in particular did not reproduce Helm's red ink titles very
well. Also, the technology of the day required data to be written out
in capital letters on forms for keyboarding by card punch operators.
Because of these factors, many entries contain typographical errors,
queries and gaps. Some re-formatting was done in 1994 by Peter Millington, and he also converted it to this online database in 2000. (Vols.34 & 35 are not yet included.)
A nine page handlist has been compiled by ? for University College London Library.
Another handlist was compiled in 19?? by Chris Metherell. (Vols.6-16 & 35 are not yet included.)
The Traditional Drama Research Group (TDRG) hopes to undertake a
project to proof-read and correct the inventory.