Dr Alice Little

Alice’s DPhil focused on the tunebooks of J. B. Malchair (1730-1812), who collected ‘national music’ in Oxford from 1760-1795. This research also encompassed the work of William Crotch, Malchair’s artwork, and networks of musical friendship in eighteenth-century Oxford. In addition to her doctorate, Alice holds an MSc in Material Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and a BA in Modern History, both from the University of Oxford. Prior to studying for her DPhil, Alice worked at several museums and collections, including the Horniman Museum (Forest Hill, London), the British Museum (London), and the Royal Military School of Music Museum (Twickenham).

The Anthony Baines Project at the Bate Collection involves cataloguing and conducting research using the archive and collection of the museum’s first curator, Anthony Baines. Baines was at the Bate from 1970-82, and the archive contains his research into musical instruments from a wide range of periods and cultures. The archive also holds documentation relating to Baines’s time as a prisoner of war, and some of his botanical drawings. As well as shedding light on Baines’s biography and the Bate’s institutional history, this project investigates how and why Baines collected those musical instruments he later donated to the Bate Collection, and what the documentation in the archive reveals about the instruments.

‘‘For the sake of difference among them’: John Malchair’s tune comparisons, 1760-95′. Folk Music Journal (forthcoming 2019)

‘John Malchair: tune-collecting in 18th-Century England’. A Handbook for Studies in 18th-Century English Music, XXI:71-88 (2017)

‘‘Good morning, ladies and gentlemen’: songs, music and musical instruments in the Percy Manning collection’ in M Heaney (ed), Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2017, pp. 221-255

‘Percy Manning, Henry Balfour, Thomas Carter, and the Collecting of Traditional English Musical Instruments’. Folk Music Journal 11.1:25-41 (2016)

‘‘Captain Kennedy’s Mandolin’, and other English musical instruments at the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum’. Journal of Museum Ethnography 23:117-128 (2010)

‘Whit-Horn’; ‘Kennedy’s Mandolin’; ‘Whittle and Dub’: three object biographies published online as part of the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Englishness Project, The Other Within (2008)

‘Free and Squeezy: The New Web Catalogue at the Horniman Museum’. Papers of the International Concertina Association, Volume 5:96-7 (2008)

Alice’s research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century national music (traditional or folk music), the history of collecting, collectors, and musical instruments. Her wider interests include social and cultural history, particularly of eighteenth-century England. Her Knowledge Exchange Fellowship involves a partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and relates to the eighteenth-century manuscript and printed tunebooks held at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. At the Bate Collection she is responsible for the Anthony Baines Project, studying the archive and collection of the museum's first curator. She is also Administrator for the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing.