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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

‘Dear Father Christmas’: Tracing the history of a folkloric custom

  • 13/12/2022
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

Dr Ceri Houlbrook (University of Hertfordshire) explores the tradition of children writing letters to Santa Claus. Online talk, Tuesday 13 December 2022, 18:00 This talk traces the history of the folkloric custom of writing letters to Santa Claus and other Western personifications of Christmas. When did it start? Where is it practiced? What folklore surrounds...

More events coming up

Gliding in the Churchway Paths: Corpse Roads and the Origins of the Right to RoamSpring-heeled Jack on the Continent

Folklore Society News

The Katharine Briggs Award 2022

We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2022 is: Folklore, Magic, and Witchcraft: Cultural Exchanges from the Twelfth to Eighteenth Century, Edited by Marina Montesano, and published by Routledge. Congratulations Marina. We also congratulate the three joint runners-up: Martin Graebe (ed.), The Forgotten Songs of the Upper Thames: Folk Songs from...

ISFNR Interim Conference 2022

We were delighted to attend and set up our Folklore Society stand at the ISFNR Interim hybrid Conference 2022: “Folk Narrative and the Visual Arts”, at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, in July this year. The papers were excellent and it was a lovely occasion to meet old friends and...

Marking the Death of the Queen

Following the sad news of the death of the Queen, we went to pay our respects and to see the floral tributes that people have been placing outside Buckingham Palace.  

Princess: BBC Sounds podcast with Juliette Wood

In this episode of BBC R4’s Princess series, our own Dr Juliette Wood and MP Stella Creasy talk with Anita Anand about the origins and folklore of Walt Disney’s Princesses, including Elsa from Frozen; first broadcast 4 July 2022, listen again on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0cjrpx7

A Message in Support of the People of Ukraine

A Message in Support of the People of Ukraine from The Folklore Society As a learned society long concerned with the everyday, overlooked and subtle ways that we make meaning in our lives and identities, we offer solidarity to our colleagues and friends in Ukraine at this most difficult time. The threat posed by authoritarian...

Wiki Loves Folklore competition 2022

15 March is the deadline for uploading entries to the Wiki Loves Folklore competition 2022. Find out more about the competition, prizes and rules at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Wiki_Loves_Folklore_2022 We’re inviting folklorists who upload entries to Wiki Loves Folklore to also send them to us at thefolkloresociety @ gmail.com, so that we can share some of them on...

Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2022

We are very pleased to announce the award of Canziani bursaries to: Jessica Lloyd (PhD candidate, University of Nottingham): ‘Folklore and identity in Southwest England’, and Georgina Rowe (PhD candidate, University of Birmingham): ‘No longer “unwritten:” British traditional folk music and the archive’

Winner of our Non-Print Media Award 2021

We are very pleased to announce that our biennial Non-Print Media Award was won by Iorram (Boat Song), documentary directed by Alastair Cole (Tongue Tied Films, 2021). Congratulations   We also congratulate the Runner-up: Henry Glassie: Fieldwork, documentary directed by Pat Collins (Harvest Films/South Wind Blows, 2019)

Jonathan Hui Wins the Katharine Briggs Award 2021

We are delighted to announce that the winner of The Katharine Briggs Award 2021 is Jonathan Y. H. Hui, Vilmundar saga viðutan. The Saga of Vilmundur the Outsider, published by The Viking Society for Northern Research. Congratulations Jonathan.   We also congratulate the joint Runners-up: Julian Goodare and Martha McGill (eds.), The Supernatural in Early...

Indexes to Folklore, 1878-1957 and 1958-1967

You can now download pdf files of scans of Wilfrid Bonser’s 2 indexes to Folklore, Folk-Lore Record and Folk-Lore Journal from our Resources page: A Bibliography of folklore contained in the first eighty years of the publications of the Folklore Society, by Wilfrid Bonser, 1961: https://folklore-society.com/resources/a-bibliography-of-folklore-index1878-1957/ A Bibliography of folklore for 1958-1967, by Wilfrid Bonser, 1969: https://folklore-society.com/resources/a-bibliography-of-folklore-1958-1967/

Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research

Applications are now being accepted for our 2022 Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research, worth up to £1,000. Deadline: Friday 3 December 2021 Click here for more information on how to apply. Here’s a report from Elena Sottilotta, recipient of our 2021 Canziani Bursary, on her field research in Italy on “Women Writing Folklore: Politics of...

FLS Library New Accessions Jan 2020-Sept 2021

Download a spreadsheet of the new books we have added to our Folklore Society Library at University College London Library between January 2020 and September 2021. Contact us at [email protected] for information on how to borrow books from our collection. FLS Library Accessions Jan 2020 to Sept 2021 We are very grateful to Andrew Watson...


Courses in Folklore Studies

Here’s a selection of courses and classes on folklore studies at various different levels ranging from learning for fun to Masters and PhD. PhD in Folklore, Contemporary Legend, Film & Media, at Sheffield Hallam University PhD opportunities in folklore, contemporary legend, film & media at the Centre for Culture Media and Society (CCMS), Sheffield Hallam...

Fund-Raising for The Folklore Society

Following our move to 50 Fitzroy Street, the Society’s annual costs for office accommodation have significantly increased, so we are inviting all members and friends of The Folklore Society to support us by making donations via our Charities Aid Foundation page at CAF Donate: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/11322

Folklore query? Ask the Folklorists

If you have a folklore enquiry, email us at thefolkloresociety @gmail.com and we will try our best to answer it or to refer you to someone else who can. Follow us on Twitter @FolkloreSociety and on our Folklore Society Facebook page

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...

Other Folklore Events and Calls for Papers

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