Founded in 2020, the Folklore Museums Network works collaboratively with its members to identify, display and disseminate knowledge about the material folklore collections held in museums across Britain and Ireland.
Folklore is a large yet distinct category of material within museum collections - from hair garlands, Rapper swords, talismans, manuscripts of local lore and traditions, to 'curiosities' and 'concealed' objects. What unites all these items is human expression, tradition and their dynamic histories of created and re-created meaning.
As such, folklore collections tread a perilous path between 'fact' and 'fiction'; they are often disregarded as irrelevant to the museums mission, they may be misidentified or uncatalogued, or simply sidelined due to a lack of time and research resources.
The Folklore Museums Network - a Subject Specialist Network - hopes to start fruitful dialogues within the museum sector about these ambiguous objects - items which can be found in all museum collections. But we don't just want to talk to ourselves. Folklore is for everyone, and so is this network. It is free to join and will be led by the interests of our members and the material in museum collections.
Join our network today to help shine a light on this amazing culture in our museums!