Conceived in May of 2003, EBBA was initially funded by UCSB Instructional Improvement Grants, 2003-2006, as well as by individual faculty research monies.
In December 2004, EBBA successfully won funding from the University of California Humanities Research Institute for a two-day conference, which built upon the work of EBBA, and which was held on February 24-25, 2006, titled “Straws in the Wind: Ballads and Broadsides, 1500-1800.”
Following fast upon the success of the ballad conference, EBBA was honored to receive a large grant of $325,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities toward completion of the Pepys Ballad Archive over the next two years, 2006-2008.
The NEH followed this first grant to EBBA with a second award of $350,000 to begin digitizing and archiving the Roxburghe Ballad Archive over the two year period of 2008-2010.
The second phase of EBBA, for which NEH 2 was funded, has received additional internal support from yet another UCSB Instructional Improvement Grant as well as a Faculty Senate Research grant for EBBA’s Director, Patricia Fumerton.
The NEH followed its second grant to EBBA with a third award of $315,000 to begin digitizing and archiving the Euing Ballad Archive at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and the Huntington Ballad Archive of pre-1701 ballads at the Huntington Library, Pasadena over the two year period of 2010-2012.
The NEH followed its third grant to EBBA with a fourth award of $280,000 to begin digitizing and archiving the Crawford Ballad Collection at the National Library of Scotland over the two year period of 2012-2014.
In 2012 the NEH also awarded EBBA a Digital Humanities Start-Up grant to develop a Ballad Illustration Archive (BIA) that will integrate computer vision software and human cataloguing in order to make the illustrations in broadside ballads more searchable and accessible for researchers and the general public alike.
The NEH grants have been generously co-supported by UCSB's Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science (David Marshall), Executive Vice-Chancellor (Gene Lucas), Vice Chancellor for Research (Michael Witherell), the Graduate Division, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and the English Department.
Patricia Fumerton also won a Faculty Research Grant to bolster NEH 3. In addition, the third and fourth phases of EBBA, which NEH 3 and 4 fund, have received additional external support from EBBA's new collaborators—the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Finally, EBBA participates in and has received important funding from the Making Publics project centered at McGill University, in Montreal, via UCSB co-collaborators in the Making Publics project, the late Richard Helgerson and Patricia Fumerton.