American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus

search tips

Basic Searching

You may search for a subject term or a phrase in quotes.

The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus lists subject terms in the plural, as in “circuses” rather than “circus” or “folklorists” rather than “folklorist.”

Advanced Searching:

wildcard searches
To perform a single character wildcard search, use the "?" symbol. To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol. Wildcard searches for the first character are not currently supported.
fuzzy searches
To perform a fuzzy search, append the tilde "~" symbol to a search term. For instance, "roam~" will find records with the term "roam" but also records with terms like "road" or even "rom."
boolean searches
To perform boolean searches, use uppercase AND, OR, or NOT operators. You
may also group operators and quotes using parentheses, as in “(squash OR tennis) NOT vegetables.”

American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus

The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus is a searchable online vocabulary that can be used to improve access to information about folklore, ethnomusicology, ethnology, and related fields. The American Folklore Society developed the Thesaurus in cooperation with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and supported by a generous grant from the Scholarly Communications Program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, AFSET Editorial Board:

Catherine Hiebert Kerst
Folklife Specialist/Archivist
Maggie Kruesi
Nicole Saylor
Head of the Archive

Top Level Terms

This is a listing of the broadest terms in the Ethnographic Thesaurus. By clicking on a term you will be directed to the full record for that term from which you can navigate to its narrower or related terms. To browse the entire hierarchy on one page you may prefer the interactive tree view or simply an alphabetical listing of all terms.

There are currently 16,110 postable terms out of 20,463 total terms.