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Folklore Resources: Reference Sources

This is a general guide to folklore resources

Why Use Reference Books?

Dictionaries provide quick definitions or explanations to help you understand terms you may not be familiar with. 

Encyclopedias and handbooks provide longer articles or chapters giving detailed information on subjects, usually written by experts in the field, often with suggested further reading or bibliographies.


Reference Sources (Selected)


Pickering, David. dictionary of folklore

Jobes, Gertrude. Dictionary of mythology, folklore and symbols

Catro, Rafaela. Dictionary of Chicano folklore

Tallman, Marjorie. Dictionary of American Folklore


Some encyclopedias cover general information:

Brown, Mary Ellen. Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature

Clements, William M. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife

Green, Thomas A. Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music and Art

Others are specialized:

Bronner, Simon J. Encyclopedia of American Folklife

Brunvand, Jan Harold. American folklore : an encyclopedia

Claus, Peter J.; Diamond, Sarah; Mills, Margaret Ann. South Asian folklore : an encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Haase, Donald. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales

Herrera-Sobek, María. Celebrating Latino folklore : an encyclopedia of cultural traditions

Lindahl, Carl. Medieval Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs

Locke, Liz.; Vaughan, Theresa A.; Greenhill, Pauline. Encyclopedia of women's folklore and folklife

Monaghan, Patricia. The encyclopedia of Celtic mythology and folklore

Patai, Raphael. Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions

Peek, Philip M.; Yankah, Kwesi. African folklore an encyclopedia

Prahlad, Anand. The Greenwood encyclopedia of African American folklore


Garry, Jane. Archetypes and Motifs in Folklore and Literature: A Handbook

Greenwood Folklore Handbooks is a series from the Greenwood Press on folklore in various countries. Search by the name of the series or by the name of the country and folklore handbook

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