The Village Music Project is primarily interested in the traditional social dance music of England – where it came from, where it went to, who it traveled with and where it is now.
Often, musically literate musicians wrote down their tunes, songs, hymns, psalms and band parts in a single book which was easily carried along with their portable instrument. Some of these surviving hand written books date back to the C17th, e.g. John Playford's Dancing Master, 1st Edn, 1651, but most are a bit more recent, coming from the mid and late C18th and early C19th. Some are devoted entirely to church music, some to secular music like the dance tunes of the day, and some are a rich mixture of all musics of their time.
The Village Music Project looks for and records, in ABC format, music found in such manuscripts. To date (2021) this resource comprises several ten of thousands of tunes recorded in dozens of manuscripts.
The Website of the Village Music Project can be found at: <https://www.village-music-project.org.uk/>
More tunes can be found on Chris Partington's website: <http://www.cpartington.plus.com/Links/ChrisPartingtonsLinksPage.html>
The abcnotation website contains many more references and links to collections of tunes coded into ABC format <https://abcnotation.com/tunes#historical>