Established in 1995, the Elphinstone Institute researches and promotes the culture of the North and North-East of Scotland via the study of ethnology, folklore and ethnomusicology.

The Institute is a centre for research and graduate study, with a Taught MLitt (Master’s) degree in Ethnology and Folklore recognized by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and supervision for the research degrees MLitt Res and PhD. Staff and students use ethnographic methodologies to explore ideas of identity and belonging, meaning and function, drawing on an exceptional heritage of traditional music, ballad and song, story, lore and language, alongside the dynamic creativity of those who live and work here today.

A key part of our remit is public engagement, co-producing knowledge and research in partnership with local organizations and individuals. These cooperative ventures can take the form of joint research projects and community initiatives, public events such as festivals, displays, and conferences, and participative workshops, all of which enrich our academic work and increase public understanding of the importance of vernacular culture in society today.