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

“A Fieldworker"s Vision: Researching the Present”

  • 1st — 3rd July 2016
  • Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

The Elphinstone Institute and The Folklore Society are pleased to announce the 2016 Folklore, Ethnology and Ethnomusicology Conference Aberdeen (FEECA), which aims to bring together graduate, post-graduate students and early-career…

More events coming up:

Folklore Society News

Reflected Shadows: Folklore and the Gothic

Many thanks to everyone who attended our conference 15-17 April, and especially to all of our wonderful speakers. The presentations were all fascinating, discussions were fruitful, and several people came stylishly dressed for the occasion.

David Buchan Lecture 2015

Diane Goldstein's inaugural David Buchan Lecture from November 2015 can be viewed and heard here:

W.F.H. “Bill” Nicolaisen (1927-2016)

It is with great sadness that we report the death, on 14 February, of distinguished folklorist Professor W.F.H. “Bill” Nicolaisen. Bill was President of The Folklore Society from 1999 to 2002. He will be much missed.

The Texts of Charms, The Contexts of Charming

Dr Jonathan Roper will give a talk “The Texts of Charms, The Context of Charming” at The Royal Anthropological Institute, 30 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT, Wednesday 17 February 2016, 5.30 p.m.

To book,…

Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

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

31st March — 31st May 2016 Biff Unplugged

  • Venue: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, London
  • Organised by English Folk Dance and Song Society
  • Contact:

Chris Garratt & Mick Kidd’s absurd, hilarious, satirical cartoon strips, Biff has entertained readers of International Times, The Guardian, BBC History & fRoots magazine. This retrospective will feature 30 strips from pages of fRoots magazine

15th June 2016 Call for Submissions: Wayland D. Hand Book Prize

  • Venue: Professor Simon J. Bronner, American Studies Program, Penn State Harrisburg, 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057 USA
  • Organised by The Folklore and History Section of the American Folklore Society
  • Contact:

The Folklore and History Section of the American Folklore Society, publisher of the journal Folklore Historian,  invites submissions for its biennial Wayland D. Hand Prize, 2015-2016, for an outstanding book that combines historical and folkloristic perspectives. See website for more details. Deadline 15 June 2016.

15th June — 2nd October 2016 A Cecil Sharp House Retrospective

  • Venue: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, London UK NW1 7AY
  • Organised by English Folk Dance and Song Society
  • Contact:

Featuring our permanent collection with pieces from past temporary exhibitions, and showcasing art works which have made a special connection to Cecil Sharp House, taking fresh approaches to folk, including some fun pop cultural references

19th — 22nd October 2016 Unfinished Stories: Folklife and Folk Narrative at the Gateway to the Future

  • Venue: Hyatt Regency Miami, in Miami, Florida.
  • Organised by American Folklore Society and International Society for Folk Narrative Research
  • Contact:

The American Folklore Society’s 2016 annual meeting will be a joint meeting with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research, October 19-22, at the Hyatt Regency Miami, in Miami, Florida. The theme for the meeting is “Unfinished Stories: Folklife and Folk Narrative at the Gateway to the Future.”


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.