The department has conducted extensive fieldwork in Estonia and abroad. The collected material includes over 50 hours of video-recordings, 100 hours of sound-recordings, 1,000 photographs, manuscript collection, diaries and other notes. Material was recorded from Old Believers, at the Viljandi Folk Music Festival, events of amateur astronomers, Martinmas and St Catherine's Day’s celebrations, the Setu Kingdom Day, etc. Fieldwork material also includes recordings among the Estonian diaspora in Sweden, USA and Australia (Mare Kõiva, Andres Kuperjanov), the historical Veps (Kristi Salve), Votians and in western Ingria (Madis Arukask, Ergo-Hart Västrik), Udmurtia (M. Kõiva, A. Kuperjanov), and among traditional Kenyan cultures (M. Kõiva, A. Kuperjanov). Collecting lore about the Soviet times is in progress. The aim of the project, code-named Sugriland, is to compile a series of interactive multilingual knowledge environments, which would expose visual material from Estonian archives in co-operation with various Russian researchers of ethnic groups and nations. The project will help widen the range of use of small languages, their terminology in mother tongue and the habit of using them in academic and literary discourse.

The database of sacred groves and sacred places in Viru Country is based on the text material held in the Estonian Folklore Archives, the archives of the Archaeology Department, University of Tartu, and the Institute of History. In the course of the fieldwork the sites were inspected and described, and additional data was collected. Results of this fieldwork can be used as a pilot case for other counties.

In recent years, the focus of fieldwork has been on collecting the lore and heritage of creators and scholars, since this circle has been little studied until now. Extensive fieldwork has been conducted in virtual space. Certain events are regularly visited for collecting material: Viljandi Folk Music Festival, BBSummer, SF 2001, events of amateur astronomers and alternative medicine practitioners, etc.

During the past five years, folklorists of the department have given 400 popular lectures in schools, at media centres, associations, and taken part in the educational programmes of different associations.