Prof Harold William ("Tommy") Thompson FRSE FSA DLitt (1891–1964) was an American folklorist and historian. He was also a competent musician, specialising in playing the organ.
He was born in Buffalo, New York in 1891. He graduated PhB from Hamilton University in 1912 then gained a doctorate from Harvard University in 1915. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship allowing him further postgraduate study at Edinburgh University.
Around 1920 he started lecturing in English at New York State University.
In 1932 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were William Metzler, John Alexander Inglis, Robert Hannay and Charles Galton Darwin. Elected as an Ordinary Fellow rather than Foreign or Honorary Fellow, this indicates his physical presence in Edinburgh at that time.
In 1940 he joined Cornell University as a Lecturer in English and became Professor of English in 1951.
He retired in 1959, living his final years in Homer, New York.
He died at Cortland Memorial Hospital in New York State on 21 February 1964.
- The Anecdotes and Egotisms of Henry Mackenzie (1927)
- Selections from the Works of Abraham Lincoln
- A Scottish Man of Feeling (1931)
- Body, Boots and Britches (1939)
- A Pioneer Songster (1958)
- New York State Folktales Legends and Ballads
- "HAROLD THOMPSON OF CORNELL DEAD; Writer on U.S. Folklore, 72, Was on Faculty 1940–59". The New York Times. 1964-02-22.
- Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
- McWhirter, Cameron (2001). ""dear Poet-General and Walloper": The Correspondence of Ezra Pound and Harold W. Thompson 1936–1939". Paideuma. 30 (3): 109–144. JSTOR 24726842.
- "New York Folklore Society Records, 1950-1998: New York State Library".
- New York State Folklife Reader, E Tucker & E. McHale
- "HAROLD THOMPSON OF CORNELL DEAD; Writer on U.S. Folklore, 72, Was on Faculty 1940–59". The New York Times. 22 February 1964.