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

Working Life: Belief, Custom, Ritual, Narrative

  • 27th — 29th April 2018
  • 14:00—14:00
  • Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, 6 Redlands Road, Reading, RG1 5EX

Working Life: Belief, Custom, Ritual, Narrative

Folklore Society Conference Friday 27 April to Sunday 29 April 2018 at The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading


The Folklore Society's April conference 2018…

More events coming up:

Folklore Society News

Book Sale: second hand folklore books and back issues of ‘Folklore’

On Wednesday 28 February from 17:00 to 20:00 we will hold a second hand book sale at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

Lots of second hand folklore books, at bargain prices
back stocks of some of our Folklore Society…

Katharine Briggs Award 2017

We congratulate Christopher Josiffe as winner of our Katharine Briggs Award 2017 for his book Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose, published by Strange Attractor.

The runner up was Dimitra Fimi, Celtic Myth in…

Iona Opie (1923-2017)

We were extremely sad to hear of the death of Iona Opie. Iona, with husband Peter, conducted magnificent and enormous work into children's folklore, with publications attesting to sympathetic, intelligent fieldwork and extensive reading. Her…

Katharine Briggs Award 2017—Short List

There were many, excellent books submitted for this year's Award, and the judges have short listed the following entries:

Bronner, Simon. Folklore: The Basics (Routledge, 2017)
Constantine, Mary-Ann, and Éva Guillorel. Miracles &…

Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

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

14th July 2017 — 14th July 2018 Tales of Britain funding

There are numerous events arranged around the country to aid the crowdfunding of TALES OF BRITAIN, a new 21st century roadmap of British tales, with 77 stories, and tourist guides to each location, published by Unbound. Visit the website for more info, and join the campaign!

14th October 2017 — 25th February 2018, 10:00—17:00 Between Worlds: Folklore and Fairy Tales from Northern Britain

  • Venue: Palace Green Library, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RN
  • Organised by Palace Green Library
  • Contact:

This new temporary exhibition takes its inspiration from medieval romance, ballads, and collections of folklore compiled between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, which tell of encounters with otherworldly creatures and journeys into mysterious worlds. It presents a forgotten type of fairy tale, very different to those that we are familiar with in today’s popular culture. This free and family-friendly exhibition is supported by funding from the Leverhulme Trust.

10th March 2018 ‘Remarkable Things’ Interdisciplinary Conference - Schedule Now Available!

Prof Patricia Spyer (Graduate Institute Geneva)
Dr Lambros Malafouris (Oxford University)

Schedule now available - registration open to participants from all disciplines!

Topics will range from medieval graffiti to the modern practice of leaving ‘love-locks’ on bridges; from inorganic demonology to vestimentary animation; from the magical capabilities of text and inscription to the role of food in enacting religious identity.

10th March 2018, 10:00—18:30 Interdisciplinary Conference ‘Remarkable Things: The Agency of Objecthood & the Power of Materiality

Keynotes: Prof. Patricia Spyer (Geneva) & Dr Lambros Malafouris (Oxford)
The very idea of an apotropaic object stands at the centre of theory seeking to articulate objecthood & materiary power. This event will investigate how recent developments in the study of material religion, neuroarchaeology, semiotics & phenomenology might help us better understand not only such objects themselves, but also their many guises & pervasiveness, as well as our ongoing attempts to typologise & demystify them.

6th — 8th April 2018 Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Healing Charms and Medicine

  • Venue: Harvard University
  • Organised by Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures
  • Contact:

The Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, with support from the Committee for the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities, is proud to host “Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Healing Charms and Medicine,” an interdisciplinary conference to be held at Harvard University from April 6-8, 2018, which aims to present innovative and cross-disciplinary approaches to the study of healing charms and medicine across a wide range of cultures and geographic areas.


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

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is England’s designated library and archive dedicated to English folk song and dance. Located at Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, it contains an inspiring collection of books, sound, film, photographs, and special archival collections. A number of the VWML’s archival collections and other important 19th and 20th century folk collections have been digitised and are available to view via the library website. The Folklore Society's Ordish Collection is among the collections digitised in “The Full English”. The website also hosts song, dance, tune, and mummers’ play indexes, as well as the incredibly comprehensive Roud folk song and broadside indexes. Together, these create a powerful research tool providing access to England’s cultural heritage.