Devoted to the Study of Folklore and Tradition

The Folklore Society (FLS) is a learned society, based in London, devoted to the study of all aspects of folklore and tradition, including: ballads, folktales, fairy tales, myths, legends, traditional song and dance, folk plays, games, seasonal events, calendar customs, childlore and children's folklore, folk arts and crafts, popular belief, folk religion, material culture, vernacular language, sayings, proverbs and nursery rhymes, folk medicine, plantlore and weather lore.

Next Folklore Society Event

“The Wild Hunt and the Witches” lecture by Ronald Hutton

  • 22nd February 2017
  • 17:00—18:00
  • The Senate Room, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


The Wild Hunt and the Witches

A public lecture by Professor Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol)

Wednesday 22 February, 17.00-18.00, at The Senate Room, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.


More events coming up:

Folklore Society News

Non-print Media Award

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2016 biennial Non-Print Media Award is Rod Stradling of Musical Traditions for his 2 CD set of Sam Larner: Cruising Round Yarmouth (MTCD369-0)

Katharine Briggs Award

We are delighted to announce that this year's Katharine Briggs Award was won by Lizanne Henderson for her book Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of the Enlightenment: Scotland, 1670-1740 (Palgrave).

The runner-up was Éamonn Ó Tuathail…

The Katharine Briggs Award 2016: Short List

Of the nineteen entries this year, the judges short listed the following six books (in alphabetical order):

Lizanne Henderson, Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment: Scotland, 1670–1740 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).


Stewart Sanderson

We are very sad to hear of the death of Stewart Sanderson, editor of Robert Kirk's Secret Common-wealth in our Mistletoe series, 1976. 

Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

Please submit this online form if you would like us to publicise your event on our website.

25th February 2017Broadside Day 2017

Broadside Day 2017 - our annual one-day conference on all things to do with Street Literature (broadsides, chapbooks, prints, pamphlets, last dying speeches, and other cheap printed materials), will be held at the Bodleian on Saturday 25th February 2017. Further details will be circulated in due course.
Anyone who would like to give a paper or other presentation (20mins + 10mins discussion), please contact Steve Roud -

1st March 2017, 19:30—21:30 Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Lectures: The Heyday of the Dulcimer in East Anglia, John and Kati

  • Venue: Cecil Sharp House
  • Organised by The English Folk Dance and Song Society
  • Contact:

This presentation will outline the dulcimer playing traditions of England and focus in depth on the remarkable spread of dulcimer playing in East Anglia, highlighting the distinctive instruments and playing style of the region. During nearly forty years of research, John and Katie Howson have discovered a wealth of dulcimer players and makers in East Anglia, with interest in the instrument at its peak from around 1850 to 1930.

25th March 2017 Winter festivals and traditions, Oxford University

  • Venue: Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA)
  • Organised by Dr Ann Wand
  • Contact:

The Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA) at Oxford University will be hosting a one-day conference on Saturday 25 March 2017. The conference will focus on ‘Winter Festivals and Traditions’ as part of a larger research discussion on ritual, religion and secularism in modern-day society. We invite participants with disciplines in anthropology, religious studies, tourism, cultural studies, folklore and similar professions.

19th April 2017 CfP: Digital Folk conference

Proposals of 250-300 words are invited for this one-day Digital Folk conference at the University of Sheffield, exploring the practices, cohesions or frictions that can arise when folk and traditional arts worldwide come into contact with digital technologies.
Full details of suggested themes are available on the Digital Folk website.
Deadline 1st November.

5th May 2017 Ritual ‘Litter’ Redressed: The heritage of contemporary deposits

  • Venue: Bayfordbury Campus, University of Hertfordshire
  • Organised by Dr Ceri Houlbrook
  • Contact:

A one-day workshop inviting scholars, heritage specialists, and site managers to explore the material culture and heritage of contemporary ritual deposits. Proposals of papers on the material culture and heritage of any form of contemporary deposit are welcome. Please email proposed titles and abstracts of 150 words to

9th — 10th June 2017 Folklorists are Fallible

  • Venue: Tartu, Estonia
  • Organised by Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, The University of Tartu,
  • Contact:

Folklorists, just like anybody else, are fallible. This event aims to draw out the patterns of fallibility that folklorists show, and to explore what we might learn from this. In this light, submissions are invited within two major categories, the mistakes made by the famous researchers of the past and the mistakes we ourselves have made.
The keynote speakers will be Carl Lindahl (University of Houston) and Karina Lukin (University of Helsinki).
Abstracts to by deadline of 30th Nov.

9th — 10th June 2017, 10:00—17:00 Cinderella

  • Venue: University of Bedfordshire
  • Organised by University of Bedfordshire
  • Contact:

All about Cinderella: Retellings in the Cultural Imagination
CfP deadline 9 December

24th — 27th October 2017 C​onference on Mermaids, Maritime Folklore, and Modernit

This interdisciplinary conference addresses the prominence of the mermaid and related creatures from folklore, myth, legend, and the imagination in 19th, 20th, and 21st-Century culture.


Concealed revealed

​The Concealed Revealed, a strand of the Inner Lives: Emotion, Identity and the Supernatural, 1300-1900 Project, is hoping to produce an extensive catalogue of concealed objects and domestic apotropaic devices, from shoes and cats to timber marks, across Britain. Dr Ceri Houlbrook, of the University of Hertfordshire, is not only seeking information about these objects but is also aiming to interview their finders; to consider how the biographies of these objects continue once the concealed has been revealed. If you have any information you'd like to share, please email Ceri on, or visit the project website on

Consultation re new and additional forms of funding for The Folklore Society

Message from Robert McDowall, Vice-President: “At its meeting on 1 July 2015, the Folklore Society (“FLS”) Committee created a sub-group to examine opportunities for the generation of additional forms of revenue for the Society (other than revenue generated in partnership with Taylor & Francis). The sub-group invites FLS members and supporters to submit their suggestions and proposals, using this template. The consultation period ends on 30 September 2015. The sub-group will evaluate the feasibility of the proposals received and submit the “top 3” to the FLS Committee in December 2015 with a view to implementing the proposal(s) in 2016.”

Folklore query? Ask the Folklorists

Register with the Yahoo! Talking Folklore group set up by Steve Roud.

Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics

A joint publication of the University of Tartu, the Estonian National Museum and the Estonian Literary Museum, now available free online.

Black Dog Database

Mark Norman is compiling a database of accounts of sightings of Black Dogs and will be very pleased if people can send contributions to

The English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS)

EFDSS has become one of Arts Council England's Regularly Funded Organisations to receive £400,000 of funding over two years. The funding will enable EFDSS to become a national development agency for folk music and set up a number of exciting new initiatives that will benefit the folk sector. For further information, please contact EFDSS Marketing Director, Sophia Linehan.