Fairy Tales, Folklore, Myths, and Legends

Your guide to fairy tales, legends, folklore, and myths from all over the world.

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The Princess of the Blue Pavilion

The Story of the Princess of the Blue Pavilion: The Youth of Rum is Entertained in a Garden by a Fairy and Her Maidens

"The Story of the Princess of the Blue Pavilion: The Youth of Rum is Entertained in a Garden by a Fairy and Her Maidens," Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi, 1597-98. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Welcome!

Welcome to the library guide for Fairy Tales, Folklore, Myths, and Legends!

Use the links in the table of contents to find definitions, topic overviews, books, articles, web resources, research advice, and more. Throughout the guide you'll find links and call numbers for resources we have in the STCC library. Anywhere you see the icon, hover your mouse over it to find out more information about that source. Also, all of the images scattered around the pages are links you can follow to learn more about them!

If you don't find what you are looking for or need help navigating this guide, please use the Ask a Librarian box for library contact info.

Good luck with your research!

Unicorns (Legend--Sea Calm)

Arthur B. Davies, Unicorns (Legend--Sea Calm), ca. 1906.  Oil on canvas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Introduction

Folklore is a basket term for “the rituals, songs, stories, legends, and popular practices handed down orally from one person to another, rather than through written transmission.”¹  People have told fictional stories as a form of entertainment for millennia, and though generally performed and passed on orally, evidence of such tales appear in some of the earliest written records from the ancient Sumerian and Egyptian cultures.  Greek tales, such as Homer’s Odyssey, were performed for centuries before being written down. Asian folktales date at least to the beginning of the first millennium BCE, if not much earlier, and exhibit influences from Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and earlier traditions.  

 

Please see the Definitions Page for a full breakdown of the different types of folklore you will encounter.

 

1. Christine Goldberg, “Folktale,” Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature, edited by Mary Ellen Brown and Bruce A. Rosenberg (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1998).

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Just for Fun!

Tales from the Lilypad

Listen to one of your favorite fairy tales from Bedtime Stories Podcast.  Put those speakers on!  You can listen to tales like “Snow White and Rose Red,” “The Princess and the Pea,” and “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.”


Take the Fairy Tale Quiz to test your knowledge!


Find out which fairy tale character you are with the Fairy Tale Personality Quiz.


What's Your Favorite?
Little Red Riding Hood: 12 votes (19.67%)
Cinderella: 27 votes (44.26%)
Sleeping Beauty: 13 votes (21.31%)
Puss in Boots: 9 votes (14.75%)
Total Votes: 61

Fairy in Irises

Fairy in Irises

Dora Wheeler, Fairy in Irises, 1888. Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on off-white thick wood pulp wove card. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.