Here’s just a brief list of the bookmarks on my computer that I use the most in no particular order.
1. Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP)
Great site for looking up sheet music. Has TONS of plays, ballads, fife manuscripts, etc.
2. Broadside Ballads Online
Lyrics to songs from period sources.
3. L’Instruction pour les tambours de 1754, fondement de la céleustique
Has some nifty pictures of French drummers. If anyone speaks French and feels like translating this, I’ll love you forever.
Great library of articles written by scholars on topics in the Revolution ranging from musicians to clothing to food.
5. The 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center
If you had a life, prepare to no longer have it. There has to be over 350 slideshows of images of artifacts, paintings, artwork, etc. of objects found in the 18th century ranging from musical instruments to military to sex (You read that correctly). You can spend a whole day just browsing the paintings and find something new every time.
6. John Greenwood Fife Manuscript
A “fife” manuscript supposedly given to Fife Major John Greenwood by a British fife major. Judging by the music in the book, most people agree that this is a gentleman’s music book filled with airs and other “pretty” songs most likely not played for martial purposes. There are a couple marches in there though and the music is perfect for a band of music impression.
7. Clio and Euterpe, or, British harmony : an admired and rare collection of the most celebrated old English and Scotch songs, cantatas, duets & trios (1777)
A music book with more “pretty” songs as I call them. Great period source for music.
8. Diary of Captain Johann Ewald
If you’re too cheap (like me) to pay the exorbitant amount of money for the reprint of Cpt. Ewald (Of the Jaegers), here’s an online version of it.
9. British Soldiers, American Revolution
Rhode Island native and all around funny guy Don Hagist writes an awesome blog focusing in on the individuals of King George III’s army. The stories are great reads and incredibly interesting.
10. The Beggar’s Opera
My FAVOURITE opera, Beggar’s Opera, was written in 1728 by John Gay and chronicles the lives of Cpt. Macheath and Polly Peachum. The ballad opera was extremely popular in London as it was the first to be done in English and used songs known to most everyone in the period just with the lyrics changed. I compare it to the “Momma Mia” of the 18th century. It was still being performed in the colonies up until the Revolution. Here’s the script and the score of the 1728 performance.
11. Bibliographies for Early American Music
These folks have put together a pretty extensive list of manuscripts of music done in the Americas going back to the 17th century. Just about everything I’ve needed has been on it give or take a few unknown archival pieces that required some more digging.
12. Scribd Libraries
These folks have spent a lot of time gathering images and information on a variety of topics. They’re worth a read.
Sherri Rapp’s Library
Steve Rayner’s Library
18th Century Material Culture Resource Center Library (The website is easier to navigate though)
13. Online Databases of Images
These next three links are to databases I go to look for images from the 18th century. They’re a real blast to search through.
NYPL Digital Collections
Anne S.K. Browne Military Collection
Lewis Walpole Digital Collection
14. Sutlers aka Merchants
In the hobby, most reenactors know who to go to for what. NEVER buy anything without asking your unit for their own standards. It is far better to wait than to rush into buying something wrong and finding out you wasted money. Here’s a list of approved sutlers that most everyone goes to. The 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center link (#5 on the list) also has a great list of people to buy stuff from.
For male clothing, patterns, and fabric cut, see Henry Cooke. You’ll get a great pattern for a reasonable price based on research and extant garments. Ask around in the Revolutionary War Reenacting world, most folks know of him and will praise up and down his work. You can reach Henry here:
Henry M Cooke IV
Historical Costume Services
721 South Main Street
Randolph MA 02368
Phone (781) 963-9645
You should bear in mind that you will need to understand the basics of your impression: what social level, what year (decade at the least), and what region you’re from. If you are a soldier, you’ll need to know what regiment and when.
Roy Najecki (The ordering system is a little reminiscent of the 1770’s but his stuff is great)
William Booth, Draper
Burnley and Trowbridge
At The Eastern Door
Hot Dip Tin
From Common Hands Studio (Bound Books and Pamphlets)
South Union Mills
Hats by Erik Lichack
I use Erik for all my chapeaus. He has fast turn around and the prices for hand-sewn, properly blocked, customisable hats can’t be beat. You can contact Erik for prices and styles via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/erik.lichack?fref=ts
Or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
15. Biscuit Receipt: http://colonialbaker.net/Reproduction%20Biscuit%20article%20JOTEA%202011.pdf
Don’t get too excited, this isn’t a cookie. This is a receipt for ship’s biscuit, better known today as hard tack. With it is an article explaining what these were, how they were made, and some of the tools. I’ve made these a few time and they’re just what you expect: hard, bland, pieces of dough. That said, you get a pound ration (or one day’s worth) from the receipt and they’re sure to be a…hit.
Note: I usually end up having to add more water than the receipt calls for. That’s just me.
16. The Fife Museum
Any questions on fifes, their age, along with originals can be seen at the above site. Some really great fife adverts as well.
17. The Harmony of War, or, Documentation for Drum and Fife Practices in Rev War Reenacting
This has been a labour of love over the past year, creating a usable document that keeps all my documentation on hand, should a question arise. Also, I’m terribly forgetful when it comes how to do things so to be able to go to one convenient place while at an event and look something up is a blessing in itself. This pamphlet could not have been possible without some really great researchers publishing their work online, for free. I like to think I cited everything properly but should a question arise about where something came from or you have information to counter mine, feel free to contact me.
I have a selection of articles on my computer in Microsoft Word and .pdf files that I simply can’t upload here or figure out how to. They tend to focus more on military musicians and their roles though. I would be more than happy to send them to you if you desire them. I am no expert though so if you have a question I’m unable to answer, I’m bound to know someone with an answer and can point you in the right direction or ask them for you. I can be reached at: