The paper discusses legends in the Ethnographic Collection of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) between 1886 and 1914. A short review is given of establishing the Ethnographic Board and its initiative for collecting and publishing folklore material. The aim of this paper is to identify the manuscripts containing legends, as well as their systematization, following Budapest classification of legends. The research shows that certain groups of legends are at the same time
part of collections of ethnographic material as well as of folktale collections. Legends were differently perceived and recorded by the collectors. The ethnographically oriented collectors focused on legends’ explanatory function and observed them as part of folk religion. The collectors focused on recording folk literature, recorded legends together with other folklore genres, but rarely made a distinction between legends and folktales.
Keywords: the Ethnographic Collection of SASA, Serbian folk legends, Budapest classification, ethnographic material