About

In the 1800s, publishers printed the lyrics to popular songs, without their tunes, on small sheets called song sheets, handbills, or broadsides. These would often be illustrated with a woodcut scene or portrait and sold at gathering places where people sang together. Duke’s collection of broadside verse includes around 1800 of these ephemeral productions, from “The Star Spangled Banner” to “Pop Goes the Weasel,” forming a rich source for research on American society and culture. The American South and the Civil War era are especially well documented, including well over one hundred Confederate broadsides. The collection also includes carrier’s addresses, non-musical poetry, and other ephemeral verse.

Term Cloud

The top 25 terms in this collection:

The materials in this collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. Texts and images from this collection may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior permission from Duke University.

All copyrights that exist in this material have not been transferred to Duke University. When use is made of these texts and images, it is the responsibility of the user to obtain additional permissions as necessary and to observe the stated access policy, the laws of copyright and the educational fair use guidelines.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], American Song Sheets, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

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