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

Law and Crime in Legend and Tradition

  • 5th — 6th September 2015
  • Town Hall, Huntingdon, PE29 3PJ

Law and Crime in Legend and Tradition: the Tenth Legendary Weekend of The Folklore Society: Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September 2015 at the Town Hall, Huntingdon, PE29 3PJ

Oyez, oyez! Who will give evidence at this forthcoming conference?…

More events coming up:

Folklore Society News

William John Thoms

William John Thoms (1803-1885) was a founder member of The Folklore Society and coined the word 'folk-lore' in English. Read Stephen Winick's 'He coined the word “Folk-Lore”' on Library of Congress 'Folklife Today' blog, and see also…

Calendar Customs and Seasonal Events conference

We had a really good turn out to hear lots of great papers at our conference at the University of Exeter, 26-28 June. Thanks to our keynote speaker Nick Groom, we were entertained brilliantly on Friday evening by the Ramsley Pace-Eggers (see…

Jacqueline Simpson and Sir Terry Pratchett

Dr Jacqueline Simpson's obituary for Sir Terry Pratchett, who died 12 March 2015, will appear in the August issue of our journal Folklore.

A conversation about folklore between Sir Terry and Jacqueline was recorded in 2010. 

listen again…

The Katharine Briggs Lecture 2014

Diane Goldstein, '“Cry, Lady, Cry!” Maternal Infanticide Narratives and the Vernacular Construction of Blame', 19 November 2014 at The Warburg Institute.

Many thanks Diane for a wonderful lecture

Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

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

8th — 9th December 2015, 09:00—18:00 Second RAI History Conference, 1871-1918

History of the RAI 1871-1918

6th — 8th January 2016 Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2016: Gender and Emotion

This conference seeks to explore the manifestations, performances and functions of emotion in the early to late Middle Ages, and to examine the ways in which emotion is gendered and used to construct gender identities.

29th — 31st January 2016Death in Scotland

  • Venue: New College, Edinburgh
  • Organised by 2016 Death in Scotland Conference committee
  • Contact:

The 3rd Death in Scotland conference: “Death and Identity in Scotland from the Medieval to the Modern: beliefs, attitudes and practices”
Deadline 16 October 2015

6th — 8th May 2016, 09:00—17:00Charms, Charmers and Charmers: Innovation and Tradition

  • Venue: University of Cork
  • Organised by International Committee for Charms, Charmers and Charming
  • Contact:

The 9th Conference of the International Committee for Charms, Charmers and Charming. Call for Papers. Deadline 31 October 2015. More details from


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.