Sykes-Baron Broadside Ballad Collection

Title: The Sykes/Baron Broadside Ballad Collection

Scope: The collection is in fact one item – a piece of linen twenty centimetres wide and, when unrolled to its full extent, nine metres long, on to which have been pasted fifty sheets, containing a total of 260 broadside ballads (including seven duplicates). These printed sheets carry song texts, some with tune titles and some decorated at the top with woodcut pictures. A set of photocopies is also available.

Dates: 1839-1841
Level: Fonds
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator: William Sykes and Sarah Ann Baron

Administrative / biographical history:

The collection is in fact one item – a piece of linen twenty centimetres wide and, when unrolled to its full extent, nine metres long, on to which have been pasted fifty sheets, containing a total of 260 broadside ballads (including seven duplicates). These printed sheets carry song texts, some with tune titles and some decorated at the top with woodcut pictures. A set of photocopies is also available.

The collection, estimated to date from the period 1839-1841, was created by William Sykes (1821-????) of Green Foot House, Barnsley, South Yorkshire. His name, and that of his daughter, S.A. (Sarah Ann) Baron (1855-????), appears on the front of the collection, handwritten in black ink. A further name, possibly G. Lynwood, also appears on the front of the roll. It is not known what connection this person had with the Sykes/Baron families. Sarah Sykes married John Baron during the 1870s, and it is unclear whether her name appears because she helped in the collecting of the ballads, or (perhaps more likely) because ownership passed to her on her father’s death. Certainly, it is known that the collection passed to Sarah and John Baron’s son, Howard (1884-????), who in turn passed it to his son, also Howard (1915-1988).

  • Source: Donated by Margaret Baron, widow of Howard, the grandson of Sarah Ann Baron, in 1988
  • System of arrangement: As received
  • Subjects: Broadsides
  • Names: Sykes, William; Baron, Sarah Ann
  • Conditions of access: Available to all researchers, by appointment
  • Restrictions: None
  • Copyright: Out of copyright
  • Finding aids: Not listed