This first sustained attempt to provide university-level teaching of folklore in England grew out of the English Dialect Survey, on foundations laid by Harold Orton (1898–1975), and benefited from the expansion in higher education occurring in Britain at the time. It opened at Leeds University in October 1964 under the directorship of Stewart Sanderson, who remained in charge until he retired in 1984. For twenty years, the Institute provided folklorists and dialectologists with an opportunity to undertake serious research and study, and many of the current leading scholars in the field owe their initial training to its existence. The Institute closed in 1984, a victim of the major cuts in higher education funding of the decade, leaving the Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language, at Sheffield University, as the only place in England with a commitment to the study of the subject at post-graduate level.
Craig Fees, The Imperilled Inheritance: Dialect and Folklife Studies at the University of Leeds 1946–1962, part 1 (1991).