Pioneer British scholarly society for the study of oral traditions and cultures, founded in 1878. The term folklore was coined by the antiquary W. J. Thomas (1803-1885) to denote old-world manners, customs, and popular superstitions. The Folklore Society has as its objectives to promote research into and recording of popular traditions, legendary ballads, local proverbial sayings, superstitions, and old customs, both British and foreign, as well as other related subjects. Over the years many distinguished scholars have been associated with the society, including Max Müller, E. B. Tylor, and Andrew Lang. In 1912 Sir William Crookes, famous for his research in Spiritualism, was president of the society.
The society publishes a biannual journal, Folklore (founded as Folk-Lore Record in 1878), a newsletter, and various books and pamphlets on various aspects of folklore. Address: University College, Gower St., London, WC1E 6BT, England.