Michael Heaney

Michael Heaney
Photo: Ben Heaney

Until October 2012 I was Executive Secretary at the Bodleian Libraries and have extensive library experience

I'm a historian of morris dancing and am musician for the magnificent Eynsham Morris

I've written quite a lot about morris and other folk matters. Much of the morris information is brought together in my book The Ancient English Morris Dance published in 2023 by Archaeopress. Reviewers have said:

  • 'the best book yet published on the subject' - Ronald Hutton, Folklore
  • 'the definitive work on this subject' - Peter Harrop, Ethnomusicology Forum
  • 'the authoritative history of morris-dancing for the foreseeable future' - Richard Samuels, Magonia
  • 'for the first time ever, a comprehensive and consecutive narrative history' - Matt Simons, Folk Music Journal
  • '[the] gargantuan task of amassing the many references to the Morris in our collective past, plus the equally immense task of making sense of this body of work and translating it into a readable and ordered narrative has resulted in this excellent book' - Jonathan Hooton, Morris Matters

I co-organised the Histories of Morris conference in 2018 and edited the published proceedings

In 2017 I helped to celebrate the centenary of the death of the Oxford folklorist Percy Manning. The celebrations included:

  • Publication of Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire
  • A full catalogue of his collection at the Bodleian Libraries
  • Development of the Mapping Manning website, an online resource bringing together his collections across the Bodleian Libraries and the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums
  • A recreation, featuring Magpie Lane and the Headington Quarry Morris Dancers, of the seminal concert he organized in 1899
  • A blue plaque commemorating his residence at 300 Banbury Road, Oxford
There is a video of the unveiling of the plaque. Other videos:

While at the Bodleian I was also able

My other strands of activitiy have included languages and cryptozoology

Contact: michael@michaelheaney.info