We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

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

Monumental Lies and the Folklore of the Wild West

  • 26/09/2023
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

Illustration from Fred Hart, The Sazerac Lying Club (1878)

Monumental Lies and the Folklore of the Wild West A Folklore Society Online Talk by Ronald M. ‘Ron’ James Early western folklore celebrated a playful embrace of tall tales and exaggeration, a brand of deceit woven into diverse traditions by people placing their mark on the region. Examining a wide variety of sources ranging from...

More events coming up

Amazonia: Differing Research Perspectives in Ethnography and FolkloreFertility, Folklore and the Reproductive BodyGhosts of the Goldfields

Folklore Society News


Bodylore – The role of shared stories in making contraceptive choices 3rd – 8th Oct 2023 Pop-up Exhibition, at the Truman Brewery, 11 Dray Walk, London, E1 6QL Opening hours: Tues 3rd – Fri 6th Oct: 11-6pm Sat 7th & Sunday 8th Oct: 11-5pm From gossip in the school corridors, to a sitcom storyline, or...

Brian McConnell Book Award 2023

Congratulations to Simon Young, winner of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research‘s Brian McConnell Book Award 2023, for his book ‘The Nail in the Skull and Other Victorian Urban Legends’ https://upress.state.ms.us/Books/T/The-Nail-in-the-Skull-and-Other-Victorian-Urban-Legends…

Report from Claire Slack re Estella Canziani Bursary 2023

A Week in Glastonbury Thanks to the Estella Canziani Post-graduate Bursary for Research 2023, I was able to undertake my first fieldwork trip to Glastonbury in April/May 2023 as part of my Professional Doctorate in Heritage with the University of Hertfordshire. I came home a week later with over 19,000 words of fieldwork notes and...

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...


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.



  • Start date: 12th Oct 2023
  • End date: 12th Oct 2023
  • Fabrica Gallery, 40 Duke St, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 1AG

Thu 12th Oct 7pm-8.30pm Fabrica Gallery Brighton Art exhibition and artist Q&A Conceived as a multi-screen video installation and performance MRS ROE explores the social and political history of birth control and abortion, in particular the shift in women’s agency in decision making in different parts of the world. And how this shift sits alongside an erosion of common and...

Folk Dance: Grappling with Tradition – Call for papers

  • Start date: 11th Nov 2023
  • End date: 12th Nov 2023
  • Cecil Sharp House, London

The 2023 Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Conference, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November Papers can be given in-person at Cecil Sharp House, London, or remotely. We seek proposals on any form of folk dance relating to the theme of revival, reproduction, reimagination, re-creation, reformation, refashioning and/or reconstruction. Papers may interrogate (amongst other things):...

The Haunted Landscape: Witchcraft, Ritual and the Supernatural

  • Start date: 18th Nov 2023
  • End date: 18th Nov 2023
  • Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL

Join us at Conway Hall as we explore the Haunted Landscape – our annual gathering of witchcraft, folklore, ghosts, and fairies from the British Isles. Allyson Shaw – Ashes and Stones: A Scottish Journey in Search of Witches and Witness A moving and personal journey, along rugged coasts and through remote villages and cities, in search of the traces of those accused of witc...