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The Euing Collection

Euing Box

Box containing folders of Euing Ballads

The Euing collection contains 420 black-letter ballads generally alphabetized by title. Most of the Euing ballads are from the seventeenth-century broadside ballad heyday, though there are some from the sixteenth century. One of the earliest broadsides in the Euing collection dates from 1575. Ballads more typical of the Euing collection are from the Restoration period, 1660s-1680s, such as the ballad celebrating the return of Charles II.

The collection now resides at the University of Glasgow Library. The ballads are kept inside a wooden box and are sorted into 8 folders. There are 50 sheets in all but the last folder (which contains only 37).


Euing Portrait

William Euing, owner of the Euing Ballads

The Euing ballads were initially collected in the nineteenth century by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, librarian of Jesus College, Cambridge. William Euing, after whom the collection is named, purchased the collection in 1856 for £300. Euing, an insurance broker by trade, was also an avid book collector. His entire collection, including the ballads, was bequeathed to the Glasgow University Library when he died in 1874. The Euing Collection remains at Glasgow University today.

The format of the Euing collection is quite different from the Pepys and Roxburghe collections. Though often trimmed, the Euing ballads are not cut apart, nor are they pasted into bound albums; instead, they are pasted onto unbound sheets of supporting paper, and numbered consecutively at one corner, as can be seen in the Euing album facsimile below:

Sample Euing Albume Facsimile

Album Facsimile for Euing 11

Many Euing ballads, including Euing 11 above, show signs of having been bound elsewhere before being collected in this format.

Printed Editions

In 1971, Glasgow University published a single-volume printed edition of the Euing ballads, entitled The Euing Collection of English Broadside Ballads, with an introduction by John Holloway. University Librarian W.R. Cunningham and publisher S. Douglas Jackson began preparations for the volume in the late 1920s, but World War II and other difficulties delayed the publication for many years. The volume uses modernized typeface but preserves the woodcut illustrations.