Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project

Verses in Vogue with the Vulgar

tree woodcut

With over 800 images and 300 mini-essays, this site offers a unique and comprehensive view of the broadsides that Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831) collected in early nineteenth-century Boston. Each broadside includes a brief explanation of its content by Kate Van Winkle Keller. To learn more about the history of this project and its contributors, please see the about page. 

Thirty-seven ballads performed by David and Ginger Hildebrand can be played from the broadsides' pages. 

All ballads have been transcribed with TEI-encoded XML available for download.

Please also visit the essays section for more of Keller's work on the network of printers and engravers who created these ballads, and for additional essays by Dianne Dugaw and Marcus McCorison.

To browse the over 300 broadsides included, please go to ballads. To browse by the subjects contained in the ballads and woodcuts, please go to subjects. The search bar above (with advanced search features) can be used to find specific broadsides. 

For a list of the works cited in the essays, please see either the Works Cited page or please join our Zotero group, Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads