19th century songs and music collection




A collection of approximately 150 song and musical broadsheets associated with immigration to Australia, convict transportation and sea travel in the 19th century.

Sheet music and broadsheet ballads offer an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of its production. They were widely distributed and fairly cheap to purchase, making them popular with the general public. Music was integral to peoples' social life at home and at public occasions such as balls, recitals, taverns, concerts and theatres. In the mid-19th century many middle class families owned a piano, an important part of their social entertainment and recreation. Music sheets featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favorites. They covered a range of themes including travel, plays and literature, with convict transportation, immigration, naval victories and the launch of a ship being a popular reason for composing a piece. Items in the collection include """"The Death of Nelson the Great National Song as Sung"""" from the 1820s, """"Emmeline, the Glasgow Lass"""", """"The Convict Maid"""" and """"I have been to Australia o"""" dated from the 1840s, 'Erin go bragh or Ireland the Brave' from the 1860s, the SS GREAT BRITAIN POLKA and the SS GREAT BRITAIN GALOP from the mid 1870s, """"The ORLANDO Waltz"""" from the 1880s, """"The Sons of Uncle Sam"""" from 1908, """"Surf Girls"""" dated 1921 and """"Bombora' dated 1963.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1800-1900; Entertaining; Music; Music scores; Passenger vessels

Entertainment; Immigration; Travel

Sheet music

Coverage Spatial

Scotland, UK; Wales, UK; Ireland; United Kingdom; Great Britain; Australia

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40