Mr Nicolas Le Bigre

Mr Nicolas Le Bigre
Mr Nicolas Le Bigre
Mr Nicolas Le Bigre

BA Hons, MLitt, OSS


Email Address
Office Address

The Elphinstone Institute
MacRobert Building
King's College
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 5UA

Tel: 01224 272997

School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture


I am the Programme Co-ordinator for the MLitt in Ethnology and Folklore and have worked at the Elphinstone Institute since 2016. I am the Elphinstone Institute's archivist, a role through which I accession new materials, supervise archival projects and cataloguing, consult with and advise regional and international partners, and liaise with internal and external researchers. I host and organise many of the Institute's public engagement initiatives, including its Public Lecture Series, storytelling events, and the Polish-Scottish Song Group. I help maintain the Elphinstone Institute's social media platforms and, alongside Institute administrator, Alison Sharman, maintain the Institute's website.

I am a Council Member of The Folklore Society and am on the board of the SIEF Working Group of Archives. 

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., USA, I am French-American and moved to Scotland in 2010.


  • MLitt Ethnology and Folklore 
    2011 - University of Aberdeen 
    MLitt with Distinction - Dissertation Topic: Polish Immigrant-Experience Narratives in North-East Scotland
  • BA (Hons) East Asian Studies, Aboriginal (Indigenous) Studies, French 
    2005 - University of Toronto 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Member of the Teaching and Learning Committee of the School of Language, Literature, Music, and Visual Culture 
  • Member of the Learning and Teaching Network
External Memberships
  • The Folklore Society – Council Member
  • Eurethno – Scotland Representative
  • SIEF Working Group on Archives – Board Member
  • International Council on Archives – Member
  • International Society for Folk Narrative Research – Member
  • Grampian Regional Equalities Council, Research, Policy, and Practice Advisory Network – Member
  • American Folklore Society – Member
  • Société Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folklore (SIEF) - Member
  • Scottish Records Association – Member
  • Federation of Folk and Traditional Music Collections – Founding Member
  • North East Scotland Heritage Network – Member
  • The Folklore Fellows (Finnish Academy of Science and Letters) – Associate Member

Latest Publications

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

  • The Scottish Samurai, Legendary Award (2019)

Research Overview

My research interests include personal-experience narrative, immigration and immigrant folklore, oral history, vernacular religion, memorialisation, and political material culture.

Current Research

Immigrant-Experience Narratives

I research the personal-experience narratives of immigrants in Scotland. Through these narratives, I examine broad concepts of immigrant experience, such as home, space and time, religion and spirituality, as well as the movement and interconnectedness of place and people. This research is not a collection of statistical data, but rather an attempt to consider and understand individuals' creative expressions of and interactions with everyday life in Scotland. In other words, I document and try to understand how people express their experiences of immigration through their own stories about their lives.

Lockdown Lore Collection Project

I co-ordinate the Lockdown Lore Collection Project, which is an archival collection (crowdsourced) project launched in April 2020. The project has collected creative responses to the coronavirus pandemic and has received over 3000 submissions from around the world. Supplementing these contributions are the over seventy interviews conducted by a team of volunteer fieldworkers. Read more about the project here:

Street Art

I have recently published on street art in relation to the disicplines of Ethnology and Folklore, examing in particular political examples from my own fieldwork in the streets of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. I consider these examples – dealing with themes like the pandemic, Scottish independence, Black Lives Matter, transrights, anti-misogyny, gentrification – through the concepts of temporality, placement, and modification.

Knowledge Exchange

Folklore, as a discipline, emphasizes responsibility to contributors and community. With that in mind, I have coordinated the Polish-Scottish Song Group at the Elphinstone Institute since the autumn of 2012. The group exists to promote the exchange of traditional Scottish and Polish culture through the sharing of song. The group has performed across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and continues to grow every year.

I also organise annual storytelling events, including the Aberdeen event in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, sponsored by the Scottish Storytelling Centre. We have hosted storytellers from across Scotland, as well as Poland, Brazil, Pakistan, Brittany, and Canada.

I am also an enthusiastic volunteer in wider-community events, and have filmed and recorded for community groups and festivals.


I supervise MLitt students in the completion of their MLitt dissertations.

A list of completed dissertations at the Elphinstone Institute can be found here:



Teaching Responsibilities

I am programme co-ordinator for the Elphinstone Institute's MLitt in Ethnology and Folklore and am course co-ordinator for its undergraduate Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions courses. Subjects that I teach include 'major' and 'minor' narrative genres (e.g. folktales, legends, jokes), personal-experience narrative, immigrant folklore, digital folklore, ethnographic film theory, memorialisation and political materiality, fieldwork practice and theory, and cataloguing and archiving.

EF5003 (MLitt) - History, Core Genres, and Methodologies of Ethnology and Folklore

EF5004 (MLitt) - Perspectives on Tradition, Identity, and Fieldwork (Course Co-ordinator)

EF5503 (MLitt) - Oral Traditions (Course Co-ordinator)

EF5504 (MLitt) - Intellectual and Practical Approaches to Scottish Contexts

EF5901 (MLitt) - Dissertation Supervision

EF2501 (Undergraduate) - Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions (Course Co-ordinator)

EF3501 (Undergraduate) - Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions (Course Co-ordinator)

EF4501 (Undergraduate) - Scottish Folklore and Oral Traditions (Course Co-ordinator)

HI552l (MLitt) - Approaching Archives

Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

Personal Tutor


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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Contributions to Specialist Publications