The department was established in 1947, at the Institute of Estonian Language and Literature. Since Februrary 2000, the Department of Folkloristics belongs to the Estonian Literature Museum. The aim of the department is to improve scientific research into Estonian and comparative folklore and folk religion, publishing in the field and to run field works. Current research: Studying minor genres of folklore; theory of rhetoric and figurative language; contemporary folk humour and theory of humour; the analysis of historical and modern outputs and constituents of myths; the changes and processes that have taken place in the Soviet and Post-Soviet period; studies in narratology; virtual communities and the level of heritage; intensive activities in the field of digital media and data base.
Folklore. An electronic Journal of Folklore. An interna-tional pre-reviewed journal in English, featuring articles on folklore, folk belief and related fields of different nations. Published since 1996.
Mäetagused. Hüperajakiri. A pre-reviewed journal in Estonian is issued since 1996, and published articles on folklore stud-ies and mythology by Estonian and international authors.
The compiling and editing of the bibliography "Internationale Volkskundliche Bibliographie - International Folklore Bibliography - Bibliographie Internationale d'Ethnologie" (SIEF) (editor-in-chief K.-M. Rooleid);
Sator (studies on mythology and popular religion) ;
Reetor (studies on the short forms of folklore and fraseology,);
Contemporary Folklore (articles on contemporary folklore, in English);
Tänapäeva folkloorist (articles on contemporary folklore, in Estonian);
Reference publications: academic folklore editions in the series "Monumenta Estoniae Antiquae": proverbs and riddles, runic songs (regi-laul) categorised by parishes, legends.
Publication series in WWW:
Sugrimaa (http://www.folklore.ee/rl/folkte/sugri/). Web sites compiled on the folklore of nearly 20 Finnic-Ugric peoples in Estonian, English, and other languages.
E-versions of the journals Folklore and Mäetagused.
Digital books, mainly studies, multilingual scientific anthologies, dictionaries, digital reprints of folklore publications from 18-19th. centuries, but also, systematised material free for use in the educational and cultural system.
Electronic databases (http://en.folklore.ee/dbases/) available to the user.
The database Estonian Droodles in English http://www.folklore.ee/Droodles includes all Estonian rebuses collected before 1996.
The database of Estonian proverbs is available in German (http://www.folklore.ee/rl/date/saksa/).
Databases in Estonian have made all texts of Estonian phrases and idioms, rebuses, puns, conundrums, Estonian web jokes, South Estonian heritage (portal LEPP) from the Võru and Setu Counties.