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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

Law is Magic: Freemen of the Land and the Magna Carta in a Beauty Salon

  • 06/06/2023
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

Joel Conn

Law is Magic: Freemen of the Land and the Magna Carta in a Beauty Salon A Folklore Society online talk by Joel Conn Tuesday 6 June 2023, 18:00-19:30 BST Magic can transform a bundle of handkerchiefs into a bunch of flowers, or divide a person in half. Law can transform your home into someone else’s...

More events coming up

A Folklorist Looks at Ice-Cream VansMeeting an Immortal: Encounters with ‘The Wandering Jew’ in BritainA Brief History of Burial GroundsFolklore, Geography and Environment: Ways of Knowing Water, Landscape and Climate in the Anthropocene

Folklore Society News

Katharine Briggs Lecture 2022: recording

Doc Rowe very kindly filmed the 2022 Katharine Briggs Lecture, given at Conway Hall, London, on Tuesday 8 November at 18:30, by Katherine Langrish: ‘Fenrir’s Fetter and the Power of Stories.’ Doc’s film can be watched on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID3KbgJiimw

Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain: Exhibition Review

Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain: Exhibition 11 February to 11 June 2023, at Compton Verney Review by Sophia Kinsghill This exhibition displays costumes from around Britain and across the seasons, from historic relics to modern creations, from nostalgic evocation of rural community to the glamour of carnival. Curators Simon Costin, Mellany Robinson, and Amy...

Lincolnshire Folklore: Ethel Rudkin and Mabel Peacock

North Lincolnshire Museum at Scunthorpe holds important collections of materials of interest to scholars of Lincolnshire folklore: The Ethel Rudkin Collection, with all her publications, her library of folklore and history books, plus photographs, notes and ephemera: https://northlincolnshiremuseum.co.uk/discover/ethel-rudkin-1893-1984/ The Peacock family archive, with diaries, photographs, correspondence, notes relating to folklorist Mabel Peacock, and to her...

100 Years of Morris Dancing on May Morning in Oxford

Oxford University Morris and Oxford City Morris have produced a new booklet to mark this year’s centenary of the annual Morris dancing on May morning in Oxford. Download the pdf here  

Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2023

We are very pleased to announce that our Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2023 has been awarded to Claire Slack (DHeritage, University of Hertfordshire) for her research project: ‘Sharing Sacred Spaces: Engagements with the Contemporary Heritage of British Pagan Sacred Sites.’ Congratulations Claire, we look forward to receiving your report and ‘postcard from the...

Report from Jessica Lloyd re Estella Canziani Bursary 2022

Randwick Wap 2022 Field Study Report by Jessica Lloyd Thanks to the Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2022, I was able to undertake field research on 7th May 2022 at the Randwick Wap in Gloucestershire in order to understand the custom and its meaning to those in attendance. This was conducted as the first...

Report from Georgina Rowe re Estella Canziani Bursary 2022

I was delighted to receive the Estella Canziani Postgraduate Bursary for Research this year, which facilitated an archive visit I took in mid-July to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House. My PhD thesis explores the influence of the old songs upon newly composed traditional folk music in the twenty-first century, with tropes...

Season’s Greetings

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all  

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


Ethics Guidelines for Collecting Folklore

Ethical guidelines for good practice in collecting, archiving and sharing folklore material. Folklore collection originally developed and flourished at a time when research ethics, and questions about intellectual property, were given little thought. Contemporary expectations demand that folklorists (and other researchers) pay attention to such matters. With this in mind, the Folklore Society suggests the...

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, contact us and we will try our best to answer it or to refer you to someone else who can. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @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.


The Kentish Hooden Horse: Exhibition

  • Start date: 8th Feb 2023
  • End date: 17th Jun 2023
  • Maidstone Museum, St Faith's St, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LH

Animal Guising and the Kentish Hooden Horse The Hooden Horse can be seen snapping its teeth and causing havoc at many folk festivals, but where did it come from and how does it relate to other animal disguises around the UK? This exhibition unites Maidstone Museum’s two old Hooden Horses with their early surviving cousins; Morris Dancing revival horses; Northern skull horses; ...

Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain

  • Start date: 11th Feb 2023
  • End date: 11th Jun 2023

Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain: Exhibition Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ This will be the first exhibition dedicated to the rich tapestry of folk customs found in the UK today. It will explore the central role played by costume in local and seasonal folk customs, bringing together over 40 costumes created, customised and w...

Dreaming Valleys 2: Finding our Place, Exploring Beyond the Maps

  • Date: 3rd Jun 2023
  • Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge HX7 8DG

Dreaming Valleys 2: Finding our Place, Exploring Beyond the Maps. A day of deep topography: Talks. Music. Film. Saturday 3 June 2023, at the Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge Northern Earth, The Bookcase and Architects of Harmonic Rooms have come together to present the second edition of Dreaming Valleys. Dreaming Valleys showcases entanglements with place. At its most expan...

Mythos as MythUs: Facing and Overcoming crises through traditional narrative from antiquity to the present (international summer program)

  • Start date: 19th Jun 2023
  • End date: 28th Jun 2023
  • University of Athens (History Museum, Plaka) and Antiparos, Cyclades

This 10-day program offers students the opportunity to dive into myth and folk narrative, from antiquity to the present, as these are the long-shared humanity’s voice, with which people respond to harsh realities and times of crisis, and deal with the distress that impacts entire communities. In times of transition and upheaval, myth and narrative serve to counter the inimical ste...

Perspectives on Contemporary Legend, 40th conference

  • Start date: 26th Jun 2023
  • End date: 30th Jun 2023
  • Sheffield Hallam University

CALL FOR PAPERS - PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY LEGEND 40th conference International Society for Contemporary Legend Research Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK | 26-30 June, 2023 The International Society for Contemporary Legend Research is pleased to announce that the 2023 Perspectives on Contemporary Legend 40th International Conference will be held in the Dorothy Fleming...