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Philip J. Thomas Popular Song Collection
University of British Columbia, Special Collections and University Archives Division

Popular music; Folk songs; Folk songs, English; Songs

The collection was established in 1992 through a gift of 2 730 items, broadly related to "folk song", from Philip J. Thomas. Evaluated as a valuable research resource, it now numbers over 4 000 items and continues to grow.

The collection encompasses many aspects of western culture from the 16th century to the present. While being a storehouse of songs, the holdings offer a wealth of material useful in the analysis of the incidence and significance of popular song in society. It includes ballads, folk lyrics, lullabies, nursery rhymes, work songs, sea chanties, hymns, carols, spirituals, gospel, dance songs, soldier songs, songs for games, nonsense songs, bawdy songs, blues, songs in school music education, community and camp songs, college songs, limericks, parodies, political and protest songs, national and ethnic songs, songs accompanying instrument instruction, etc. In addition to books, the collection has pamphlets, songsters, broadsides, periodicals, manuscripts, and bibliographical, critical and reference material.

Predominantly English, with French, Gaelic, German, Ukrainian, etc.

3 937 catalogued items. Some phonodiscs which accompany printed publications.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is catalogued at present on dBASE III, with computer access in the Division. A few sets of printed Author/Ed and Title catalogues are available. Subject finding aids are being developed.

Physical Access
The collection is in Rare Books and Special Collections, which is open to the public. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: Photocopying is done by the staff.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
None at present.