The collection comprises:
Photocopies of items in manuscript collections (Kb 1-31, 189-192, 205).
Transcripts of items in manuscript collections (Kb 32-41).
Miscellaneous transcripts (Kb 42-75).
Microfilms (Kb 76-82, 186-187).
Miscellaneous material (Kb 83-162, 193-198).
Photocopies used during the preparation of The Oxford Book of Ballads (Kb 163-185).
Microfilm copy of the ballad 'A Gest of Robyn Hode' from the National Library of Scotland (Kb 186).
Typescript historical note about the University of Nottingham's Department of English Studies (Kb 188).
Student essays about ballads, 1978-1980 (Kb 199).
Published items formerly in the possession of James Kinsley, 1931-1974 (Kb 200-204).
This reference collection of personal research papers includes items acquired by James Kinsley in the course of his work on Robert Burns and the Scottish ballad tradition. The bulk consists of copies of original documents and records, a number of which are held in other repositories. A significant number of items were however in private hands at the time of the research and the current location of the originals is not always certain. The transcripts, photocopies and microfilms of manuscripts in question were used in Professor Kinsley's edition of The Collected Poems of Robert Burns, published in three volumes by the Oxford University Press (1968). Further material of a similar nature relating to ballads, and including copies of music, was used in the preparation of the 1969 edition of The Oxford Book of Ballads.