Database of Poems

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This database contains over 1,000 poems from almost 200 different publications (broadsides, newspapers, anthologies etc.) from locations across Scotland, relating to the extension of the parliamentary franchise in the period 1832–1918.

For each poem the following information is given: title; author; date; place of publication; name and type of publication in which it appears (e.g. Glasgow Weekly Mail, newspaper); archive or library in which it is located.

Untitled poems are listed by first line, in square brackets. If the author is completely unknown, they will appear as 'Anon'; if they use a pseudonym but are otherwise unidentified, they will appear as 'Anon [An Indignant Dame]' (for example).

If a song is set to a particular tune this will also be given, and if it is a song for which we have a recording you will be able to listen to it and to view more information about both the song itself and the performers.

If a copy of the poem is accessible online you will find a link; for poems available in hard copy or on microfilm you will find details of where to locate them in the archives.

You can browse or search people, publications and locations, or filter your results to focus on a particular Reform Act. One of the most useful fields is 'Featured Individual', which allows you to view all the poems that mention a particular public figure.

The 'Browse' function is the best place to start in most cases, whether you are looking for a particular person or title, or want to see the full range of results for a particular year, place or library.

Using 'Search' allows you to narrow your focus by combining two or more search parameters: to look for poems published in Paisley in 1832, for example, or poems about William Ewart Gladstone from 1884, or poems about the 1867 Reform Act in the Mitchell Library. You can also search within categories not available in 'Browse': for songs set to specific tunes, or works printed by specific publishers.

You can also use the 'Search Comments' field to cast a wider net: there are 5 poems in the database in which the poet Robert Burns is a directly 'featured individual', but searching for Burns in 'Comments' will turn up 39 poems whose descriptions mention the poet in some capacity.