The vast majority of items in these collections are songs and tunes, so examples given in these notes are mostly drawn from that category. If you are interested in other items (e.g. dance or correspondence), see also 'Other Approaches' below.
If you are looking for a particular song and you know the title, or part of the title, simply type in relevant keywords in the 'Search for' box. You can change 'all of' to 'some of' or 'precisely' if you wish, but these are less helpful for beginners. You can also specify which field you wish to search on, for greater precision.
Example: to find the song Banks of the Sweet Dundee...
- leave 'all of' as it is
- change 'all fields' to 'title'
- type 'Banks Dundee' in the box
- click 'Submit Search'.
This will find all the entries under that title, but folk song titles are notoriously variable, so if you want to find all versions, see under 'Roud Numbers' below.
You can search in Simple Search for any category of data, such as the name of the performer, place of collection, and so on, but only one field at a time. Simply change 'all fields' to 'performer' or 'place', and so on. Personal names of performers and collectors have been entered with surname first (e.g. Taylor, Malcolm), and places are entered in the following format: England ; Hampshire ; Andover ; Andover Workhouse.
A Simple Search will always search all the collections in the Take Six database.
Having done the first search, you will be presented with a summary list of entries (see below).
To search for more than one aspect at the same time, open up the Advanced Search by clicking on 'Advanced search' in the top right of the search page.
On this page you can restrict your search to a particular collection or collections, listed on the left, by un-ticking the ones you wish to exclude.
You can construct complex searches by typing data in any number of fields. e.g. you can search for all 'Banks of the Sweet Dundee' collected by George Gardiner in Hampshire by typing the relevant words in the Title, Collector and Place fields.
NOTE: The Content field indicates whether the item includes a text or a tune, or both. If you only want versions with a tune, type 'tune' in the Content field. The Type field distinguishes between song, dance, children's game, etc.
Summary lists and Full Records
Having carried out a search, whether Simple or Advanced, you will be presented with a summary list of entries, giving only the name of the collection, the unique reference number, and the title. Click on any title for which you wish to see further details, and it will open up the full record, including the thumbnails of any associated digitised images. To close the full record entry, simply click again on the title.
If you are only interested in some of the items listed in the summary view, click in the check box on the left for the ones you wish to keep in view, and then click on 'Retain selected items' (which appears when you have selected some of the results). This will remove the un-ticked items from your summary list.
Seeing the Digitised Images
When a full record is open, you will see one or more thumbnails, which indicate the number of images linked to that particular record. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the digitised image. Once you have opened an image, you will be able to move backwards or forwards through the other images without closing each one.
The image can be saved, printed or copied. Right click on the open image (or hold down 'ctrl' and click if you use a Mac), and choose Save Picture As.., Copy or Print. If you have chosen Copy, you can then Paste it into another program where it can be manipulated, re-sized, etc.
To close the image window, click on Close the Window.
Open Tree View
You can click on 'Open Tree View' on the right. This opens up the list of items in the collection, organised in the original archival hierarchy and allows you to navigate around a particular collection by clicking on other items of interest on the same or higher hierarchical levels (See About Archive Collections).
Roud / Child / Laws numbers
In order to compensate for variable titles and spellings, various numbering schemes have been adopted. If the song you require was included in the schemes devised by F.J. Child or G.M. Laws, you can search for their numbers in the Child or Laws fields. A more comprehensive scheme, compiled by Steve Roud, potentially assigns numbers to all traditional songs across the English-speaking world. Thus, to find all the versions of a particular song -- whatever title has been given to it by collector or singer -- you need to find the relevant Roud Number and search on the Roud field. You can find the Roud Number by searching on one known title, or by going to the Roud Folk Song Index which includes material from thousands of books, collections and sound recordings.
Note: The Folk Song Index only includes songs which have been found in traditional performance and are thereby judged to be 'Folk Songs'. Songs in the Take 6 collections which do not fit in this category (e.g. many which have been copied from earlier books, for comparative purposes) do not have a Roud number.
Non-song material in the Take Six database includes dance and instrumental music and other miscellaneous pieces. The simplest way to restrict your search to these areas is to type 'dance' or 'tune' in the Type field in the Advanced Search screen.
One important sub-group of material is Correspondence written to or from the Collectors. The best way to isolate these is to include the word 'Letter' (or 'Postcard') in the Title field, in combination with other search data. E.g. to find all the correspondence in the Gilchrist collection, in the Advanced Search screen, un-tick all the collections on the left, except Gilchrist, then type 'Letter' in the Title field, then click on Submit Search.
Field List and Data Conventions
Ref No. The unique reference number for the item, constructed in hierarchical format in which the forward-slash symbol denotes a new level. When quoting a reference number, the whole number must be included, and no spaces of other punctuation introduced.
Alternate Ref. No. Where a collection has been previously numbered (e.g. Frank Purslow's numbering of the songs on the Hammond Collection), the earlier number is preserved in this field.
Title Where the item is a Song, Tune, Dance, etc., which already bears a title, it is given here, if possible in the form in which it appears on the document. There is no shuffling of articles (e.g. 'The Foggy Dew' is not entered as 'Foggy Dew, The') Sometimes it is necessary to invent a title, or add an explanatory comment. This is particularly important with correspondence (always entered as 'Letter from --- to ---).
Performer The person from whom the item was first collected, e.g. the Singer, Musician, etc. Data is entered in the format: Surname, Title First Name(s) (e.g. Taylor, Mrs Laura). Occasionally, the performer is described in the source document rather than named (e.g. Children, Old Gravedigger, etc.) and is therefore entered in that way.
Place The geographical location of the performance, or the place in which the informant lived. In most cases this is the same, but it is the home-place which is more important. If a singer from Hampshire, for example, happened to be recorded in London, this field would read 'Hampshire'. It is not always easy to make a firm decision here, especially with people remembering their childhood traditions. The format of this data is in a maximum of four hierarchical levels, separated by the symbol ; (e.g. England ; Hampshire ; Andover ; Andover Workhouse). The fourth level is only used where a named institution is given (e.g. Workhouse, School, etc.)
Date The date that the item was noted, where known. The preferred format is dd mmm yyyy (e.g. 10 Jul 1901), but full dates are often not given in the documents, and an educated guess is often the best that can be achieved.
Collector The name of the person who noted the item. This is not always the same as the person whose collection is being indexed. Collectors often sent each other material, so a song appearing in the Anne Gilchrist Collection, for example, may have been noted by Frank Kidson.
Roud No. The numbering scheme adopted in Steve Roud's Folk Song Index.
Child No. The numbers assigned to the ballads included in F.J. Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898).
Laws No. The numbers assigned to particular songs in G.M. Laws, American Balladry from British Broadside Ballads (1957).
Type A broad category which distinguishes between: Children's Game / Dance / Poem / Song / Tune / Other.
Format Indicates the physical format of the item, and distinguishes between: Audio / Manuscript / Pictorial / Printed / Typescript / Video.
Content In the case of songs, tunes, dances, etc., this field records whether a Text, Frag[mentary] Text, Tune, or Description is included in the data.
Description Explanatory notes.
Notes Further notes on the collection, mostly to describe what things we've done to it e.g. the extra level in attaching the images, oversized items placed in another box, etc.