(the journal)
   The early history of the Folklore Society's periodical was summarized by Allan Gomme (Folk-Lore 63 (1952), 6-7). Initially it appeared annually as The *Folk-Lore Record (1879-82); then monthly as The *Folk-Lore Journal (1883-4), a method entailing 'a great deal of effort and no very marked success'; then quarterly, still as The Folk-Lore Journal until 1890, when the simple title Folk-Lore was adopted, at the suggestion of Joseph *Jacobs (the hyphen was dropped in 1958). During the Second World War it came close to extinction, but survived thanks to the devoted work of E. O. James; despite various financial crises, it regained its pre-war size. Publication changed from quarterly to twice-yearly in 1976, then annual in 1993; in 2000 it returned to two issues per year. Jacobs was Editor from 1890 to 1893, after which responsibility was shared by a Publications Committee. From 1899, the succession runs: Charlotte *Burne, 1899-1908; A. R. *Wright, 1909-14; W. Crooke, 1915-23; A. R. Wright, 1924-31; E. O. James, 1932-55; Christina *Hole, 1956-78; Jacqueline Simpson, 1979-93; Gillian Bennett, 1994- .
   The journal, like the Society, took the whole of folklore worldwide as its remit, and also explored adjacent disciplines for material which might have a bearing on it. Consequently, it printed many papers discussing comparative religion and myths, supernatural themes in ancient and medieval literatures, and anthropology, thus reflecting the very diverse interests of its readers. At the same time, it was always a place where factual accounts of newly discovered items, large or small, could be permanently recorded; there are many such contributions, which have become increasingly valuable as time goes by, whereas some of the more speculative discussions are now only of historical interest. The diversity of the contributors, and the fact that folklore was not a university subject, meant that the journal never became dominated by a single school of thought, methodology, jargon, or interpretative theory; it was always addressed to a scholarly but non-specialized readership.
   In 1986 a survey showed that most individual members of the Folklore Society found exotic anthropological material remote from their concerns, and wished Folklore to concentrate on British traditions, and on European or North American material which offered closely relevant contexts or parallels; it seemed probable that the needs of those reading it through academic libraries would be similar. A shift of emphasis duly occurred, but editorial policy remains broad-based, and has recently been strengthened by setting up an International Advisory Board.
   Cumulative indexes to Folklore have been published up to 1992. These are: Wilfred Bonser, A Bibliography of Folklore (1961); Wilfred Bonser, A Bibliography of Folklore for 19581967 (1969); Steve Roud and Jacqueline Simpson, An Index to the Journal Folklore, Vols. 79-103, 1968-1992 (1994). For comments on the history of the journal, see E. O. James, Folklore 70 (1959), 382-94; Jacqueline Simpson, Folklore 100 (1989), 3-8.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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