Links of special interest

to Missouri folklore enthusiasts:




The early history of the society



H.M Belden, the English Club, and the Missouri Folk-Lore Society;

an article by Susan L. Pentlin and Rebecca Schroeder from the 1986 MFSJ\



Tributes to Missouri folklorists, past and present

The big picture



What is folklore, anyway?

An essay towards defining the field, by MFS' Don Holliday, in Ozarkswatch

Yet more views on the question from the New York Folklore Society;
(were you expecting a single, simple answer?)

For students and teachers -- a guide to fieldwork
and to working with folklore and tradition-bearers in the classroom --
both from the Fife Folklore Archives at Utah State University

A brisk and orderly guide to collection-projects


Virtually Missouri -- provides centralized access to the digitized collections of our state's libraries, museums and historical societies. This important database is growing all the time; check back often, and offer your own collections.

Tributes to Missouri Folklorists, past and present


Important Missouri Resources


The Missouri Folklore Society Journal


The Missouri Folklore Society Newsletter


Foxfire -- in 1966, an English class in Rathbun Georgia started something great...if you don't already know about this, you need to find out


Bittersweet – a journal in the tradition of Foxfire, edited by our own Ellen Gray Massey


The Chariton Collector – a similar project from Kirksville High School




The Missouri Heritage Readers Series , under the general editorship of MFS' Rebecca Schroeder


Virtually Missouri -- provides centralized access to the digitized collections of our state’s libraries, museums and historical societies. This important database is growing all the time; check back often, and offer your own collections.


The Missouri Heritage Project -- primarily for teachers, the site archives materials on the state's heritage, from local legends and dusty newspaper files to personal collections and reminiscences. This growing site invites contributions from schools and school districts engaged in local history projects.


Country Folk Magazine captures the essence of the Ozarks. Visit their site to sample some issues and for a subscription form.


Ozark County Times -- online journal from Lebanon/Gainesville area. Visit their site .


The Ozarks Mountaineer, an Ozarks-wide magazine publication, now has subscribers in all 50 states, and a few foreign countries as well. Visit their site to sample some issues and for a subscription form. The magazine offers histories of people and places, folklore, out-of-the-way places to see and visit, arts, crafts, pioneer skills, folk music and much, much more. In addition to articles, there are columns featuring cookery, poetry, humor, events, gardening, then and now, folk music, reviews of recordings and reviews of books.


The Missouri folk arts program:




Major national and international organizations


The Northern Virginia Folklore Archives: a searchable online collection of papers and documentation:


Mudcat Forum -- a place where folk music enthusiasts discuss their business and passion (and much besides)

The Folklore Society -- founded 1878, publishers of Folklore; includes an exceptional collection of international links.

Special link to Folklore (the journal of the Folklore Society)

The American Folklore Society

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress

"Mizzurah" er "Mizzuree"? The American Dialect Society

The American Name Society (onomastics): How'd they come up with a name like "Kingdom City"?

Folklore organizations of other states and regions

The Smithsonian Insitution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  

Presses of Interest to Missouri Folklorists


Missouri and area associations for local, ethnic and folk culture


Show Me Oz
The Very Best of the Ozarks

 -- a site dedicated to showcasing the very best of the Heart of the Ozarks Region of Missouri and Arkansas by celebrating the natural wonders, diverse culture and long history and tradition of the region through news and events surrounding the Ozarks.  You can read more about our mission statement on our site at

St. Andrew's Society of Kansas City: 

Scottish St Andrews Society of the Ozarks

The Johnson County Historical Society: webmastered by an MFS member, with back issues of the JCHS Newsletter. See the historic 1838 Federal style courthouse where the trial of Old Dog Drum took place and Senator George Graham Vest gave his well-known  "Eulogy on the Dog" (source of the phrase “man’s best friend”

The St. Louis African Chorus

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation

St. Louis Folk Fire: Dance and Music

Missouri Valley Folklife Society

The Missouri Archaeological Society

The Institute for Small Town Studies, publishers of Fishwrap, a modest but impressive interdisciplinary journal


Specific folkgroups

          La Guillonee, a New Year's tradition of Missouri's PawPaw French 

          Kent Beaulne dit Bone, of the Old Mines district, shares notes and historic photos on the tiff miners of the area.

The Amish in Missouri

Voices of Slavery: recordings of former slaves telling their stories

St. Andrew's Society of Kansas City:

The Jack Conroy American Studies Collection (Moberly Area Community College)

WWI veterans: Missouri's memories of the Great War (as we called it before we realized we were going to have to number them):

Hobo signs and signals – how gentlemen of the road communicate about prospects for handouts, chances for work, and mean dogs.   

The George Ewart Evans collection (Great Britain): 250 recordings of interviews and songs made by oral history pioneer George Ewart Evans between 1956 and 1977, many in Suffolk, with a smaller number in Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The recordings document rural life and agricultural work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, folk beliefs about animals, medicine and witchcraft, folk and popular songs.


Genres of folklore

Verbal and partially verbal lore                   

Folk Music of Missouri, except fiddles and fiddling

For a separate collection of fiddle-links, click here 



     Folklore around the year: holidays and festivals

    Please contribute to our new, developing page on gardening and weather lore

Folk medicine and herbalism:

A Few Words About Folk Medicine: Argues against uncritical use of traditional healing
practices, especially by non-members of the cultures which generate the traditions.

A brief essay by Bonnie Thomas-Stevenson

Food and foodways:

The 1925 Missouri Farm Women's Cookbook

        Fr. Phil Hoebing's interview with turtleman John Richards, expert on the alligator snapper

Material culture

A page of images from Kent Beaulne's presentation on hand-forged, iron crosses in use as cemetery markers in the Old Mines district (as presented at the 2013 meeting in Potosi).

A brief dictionary of gravestone motifs and symbolism; here's another: Both have good images, though without specific locations, and the interpretations are unsourced

Folk, utilitarian and vernacular architecture of Missouri , including log cabins and barns

A key research tool for local history research: search the digital Sanborn maps at the University of Missouri;  Sanborn fire insurance maps are used by urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers, genealogists, local historians, planners, environmentalists and anyone who wants to learn about the history, growth, and development of American cities, towns, and neighborhoods. They are large-scale plans containing data that can be used to estimate the potential risk for urban structures. This includes information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.

Agricultural Traditions:

"What Wondrous Life: the World of George Husmann"   --an interpretive exhibit on the Hermann resident who fathered the Missouri Wine Industry and saved the grapes of France, directed by MFS' Dolph Schroeder.  

Visit the Baker Creek Seed Company, near Mansfield; Jere Gettle offers gardeners over 1000 varieties of heirloom seed.

Children's lore:

Traditional Games: A Collection by Irwin Rice

Marbles, folk- and parlour-games of yesteryear

        Notes and an article from Goldy Hamilton , collaborator with Belden, pioneer collector of folksong and children's lore

        A 1911 poem by Rev. Charles Newton Wood containing information about children's games as played in Missouri c. 1875.


Spinning and spinning wheels -- a traditional domestic craft

-Missouri State Quilters Guild

-Traditional amish quilt blocks

McCall's has an online quilt blocks reference


Images of Native American artifacts of Missouri

Some Notes on Cupstones of Adair County, MO --
observations on a common but little-studied type of Native American artifacts

        Hard to classify:

                        Remember the '50s? Are you sure? Really? Might all that stuff actually have been invented about 1969? Check out this essay on Sha Na Na and the Invention of the 50s.




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