Thursday, 29 January 2015

"Folklore is a vibrant element of 'Britishness' and a living cultural heritage; these beliefs, customs and expressions link the past to the present and help us understand our specific communities and cultures, as well as our shared humanity. Far from being static or an ageing genre, it remains relevant by adapting to new circumstances, with the 'Folk' (people), and the 'lore' (stories) continually informing and influencing each other. At the moment there is no dedicated institution within the UK that specifically explores and celebrates our folkloric culture and heritage in its full richness, including all of our annual customs and traditions. I feel this is a sad state of affairs and points towards a yawning gap within the cultural landscape of Britain. It is my aim that within a few years, this situation will be examined and resolved and there will exist a properly funded new national establishment which will not only impart knowledge and stimulate inquiry, but will also provide aesthetic experiences and kindle individual ambition by strengthening community ties and making visitors aware of the richness of our shared folk-culture in all its manifold forms. At the present time we are in the process of deciding the best way for us to operate and we do not have a building which the public can visit. We are however involved in a series of exhibitions within the UK where visitors can come to gain an appreciation of what will eventually be on offer once we are established. 
Simon Costin (Director, Museum of British Folklore)

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