A treasure house of stories of every kind, annotated and categorised for easy reference. Let me know any favourite links that I've missed, or if you find dead ones. More stories are here on this site. For comprehensive information and links to the art of storytelling itself, go to Tim Sheppard's Storytelling Resources for Storytellers. This regularly expanding list is updated to 31/10/2003.
Classic Tales and Collections
Epics and Myths
- A Flowering Tree
An excellent book of 77 Indian folktales, the whole text now online and easy to search. Translated by an eminent author and scholar, each tale has notes and commentary, giving cultural background, comparative types and motifs, and an essay on women-centred folktales.
- Aadizookaanag - Traditional North American Myths and Legends
Plenty of stories, categorised by tribe, with background information too.
- African Folklore
Around fifty tales, though not all give their country/tribal culture of origin. Navigation is very awkward: choose the link on the left to Traditional African stories, then use the green triangles to scroll through the list of stories - which then open in new windows.
- African Stories Treasure Trove
A links list to over twenty tales on various sites, plus a short bibliography of stories in print, and a few other African resources.
- Afro-Americ@: Myths and Fables
Sixteen African folktales presented with illustrations for kids, like picture books. Part of a lively educational site for kids, with various other activities and resources.
- Ancient Legends of Guam
Guam is a small Pacific island, but part of the USA. Here are some traditional legends at the official government website. Explore the home page too for background cultural information.
- Andrew Lang - Biography and Works
This is the best site I've come across for Lang's popular and influential 'colour' fairytale books from the early 1900s, which are famed for their collections of excellent tales from cultures all over the world, and for their beautiful illustrations. Not only are there full online texts of nine of them (plus his Arabian Nights selection), which is many more than most other sites, but there's a search facility for the whole collection or for individual books. Each tale is presented for reading separately.
- Andrew Lang - contents and texts
Gives access to the full on-line texts of seven of the 'colour' fairy tale books, plus the Arabian Nights Entertainments book. Usefully, this page gives the entire contents lists of tales from each book.
- Andrew Lang - Index to the 'Colour' Fairy Books
Invaluable master index to the tales in all the books (12) of this important series - nine full texts of which are on-line on other sites listed above.
- Andrew Lang books at ClassicReader.com
Another site for reading the 'colour' fairytale books. This one has nine of the books, but no search facility.
- Andrew Lang titles at Project Gutenberg
Plain text files of 45 of his books - not just the colour fairytale books, but various on ballads, mythology and other subjects, e.g. Australian folklore, the Odyssey, Tales of Troy. Each book is just one enormous and unformatted file.
- Animals, Myths and Legends tales from Oban the Knowledge Keeper
Over thirty tales from Native American cultures and others, including a number of Coyote tales.
- Audio Books for Free
Site offering downloadable audio books of all kinds in MP3 format. No folktales as yet, so put in your requests, but lots of classics.
- Audio Recordings at Audible.com
This site offers downloadable audio for purchase at much lower prices than the cassettes or CDs. A huge selection of commercial products. Browse by Category to Great Talkers and then to the Storytellers subsection, to find hundreds of recordings of well-known storytellers. You can listen to the audio on computer, burn it to CD or to cassette etc.
- Baldwin Project
Comprehensive collection of resources for parents and teachers, focusing on public domain story texts and illustrations - large numbers of traditional tales, myths, fables, sagas and more, formatted for handy use, from many classic books. The texts are also categorised by age suitability, title, genre etc. to help find what you need.
- Bear Stories
Eleven Native American tales, from various tribes.
Ultra-condensed book summaries, of various genres, done with wit and panache. Epics are reduced to a few lines. Handy for brushing up on plots!
- Books By Rajaji
Free online texts of this great Indian figure's translations of some of the greatest Hindu epics and scriptures, including extensive summaries of the immense Mahabharata, and Ramayana, as well as the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Kural and more.
- Brer Rabbit
Over a dozen tales of this popular trickster. (And a great animation of a galloping horse!) These tales were also at www.disfolks.com but that seems to be defunct now.
- British Isles folklore and mythology links
Nearly a score of links to sites either about or containing the old tales. Some sites are general, some focus on particular geographical areas.
- Cariadoc's Miscellany Period Sources for Storytellers
A helpful and informative annotated list of mediaeval collections of tales, originally intended as a guide for tellers at Renaissance fairs etc. Includes links to online versions of the tales.
- Cherokee Stories
Eleven stories, from pourquoi tales to cosmological.
- Christmas Stories
Sixteen stories to do with Christmas. The site is rather graphics-heavy, so may be slow to load.
- Chuck Larkin -- Bluegrass Storyteller
Chuck sadly died on Good Friday 2003. He was a very well known teller, and master of tall stories. His site offers fifty of his own tales for you to tell, on various themes: Christmas tales, Fish tales, Halloween stories, hunting tales, The Marriage of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell, and of course many tall tales. Hurry - it's hard to say how long his website will stay available.
- Culture Legends & Myth in Cornwall, UK
A fascinating site, with a mix of discussion of Cornish customs and folklore, and some of the old legends and tales.
- Dogs in Literature.
A survey of ancient and mediaeval literature around the world, where dogs play their part. Tales, excerpts and background information.
- Eastern European Folklore & Customs
A few tales, a brief dictionary of Slavic mythological figures, and various folk customs. Plus music that can't be turned off.
- Encyclopedia Mythica: Mythology, Folklore, and Legends
An essential resource. Use it to browse or search the extensive short explanatory articles on a wide variety of subjects, or read many stories. The main categories are: Mythology - Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, Other mythologies; Folklore of the world, including cryptozoology, general, Arthurian legend, Greek heroic legend, and texts of folktales; Bestiary; Heroes; Image gallery; Genealogy of pantheons and prominent Houses; Features.
- Encyclopedia of Hotcâk (Winnebago) Mythology
This contains hundreds of stories listed by theme and story type, plus lots more resources on this whole North American culture..
- Europe of Tales
A very pretty entertainment site if you have the patience to wait for very slow intros and transitions, and to find the (eventual) rather hidden navigation. Mainly for children with presentations of three or four folk tales each from Scotland, Finland, Iceland, Italy and Brittany -- in eight different languages. Extensive use of Flash makes these tales into a cross between picture books and films, with atmospheric music. If you're in the mood for a very slow filmic entertainment it's great. The subtext seems to package a view of Europe as an exotic, alien place. There are also photo galleries, background information, and very basic teacher's guides.
32 folk and fairytales from various countries in at least two languages each, with illustrations. This site is for kids and teachers looking for cultural and language resources. It includes a collection of pages on the various customs of yearly festival celebrations and a quiz on European cultural facts.
- Face in the Mirror - Bloody Mary, Mary Worth and other variants of a modern legend
An extensive review of the scary story variations and lore surrounding them.
- FairyTales: Audio Texts
Listen to readings of tales.
- Far-Fetched Folklore - Jack Tales
A baker's dozen of Jack Tales and a handful of others. Tales of Jack originated in England, but have become popular in the Appalacians of the USA; these are in the American vernacular. Also with some background information, cultural links, and possibly some audio and video if the link gets fixed.
- Folk Legends of Japan
Sixteen popular traditional tales. Nicely presented, but the music and animated illustrations can make it slow to load.
- Folklore & Myth Online Textbook
Enjoyable and accessible study / reading resource from the University of Oklahoma, USA, which has pages with commentary and many folktales or readings from: Gilgamesh, Noah and Babel, Ovid, Aesop, Indian Folktales, Rumi, North American Indian Tales, Uncle Remus, Robin Hood, Ozark Folksongs, Brothers Grimm, English Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, Urban Legends.
- Folklore About Hyenas
With brief information from various cultures, and a couple of mediaeval pictures.
- Folklore and Legends of Britain
Lots of information and tales. The folklore section is divided into folktales from England, Scotland and Wales - around eight each. And there's a very useful glossary for each country of legendary creatures, fairies, etc. Lastly, a drop-down list provides essays on half a dozen main creatures of folkore. The Legend section has dragon, giant and various other legends, and the Hauntings section has much information and tales of ghosts. Plus there are links to many sites, and information on mysteries, paranormal etc.
- Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts
DL Ashliman's wonderful and eclectic page of links and stories. The extensive list is categorised by theme, and forms a kind of mini-encyclopaedia of folklore subjects and a tale-type index. Some links are to major essays on folklore themes. So many interesting and useful subjects are covered well here, it's best to get familiar with this resource.
- Folklore and Urban Legends Web Ring
Follow this network of sites to discover many different collections.
- Folklore Books On-line
E-texts of whole books, mainly collections of folktales, at the On-Line Books Page. Excellent resource.
- Food Tales
Fantastic resource of over 170 foodstuffs, each with a page containing folktales mentioning that food, references in literature, quotes and folkore. Quite astounding, and since the main site is dedicated to soup, you can find a huge collection of soup tales and lore at http://www.soupsong.com/isoupta.html
- Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas
DL Ashliman's page of links to online versions and other resource sites. Don't forget that 'Germanic' includes all the Scandinavian myths.
- Gullah Tales
Gullah is a history and language, linked to West Africa, that survived slavery and thrived on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. This site, produced by South Carolina Educational Television, introduces Gullah culture and language to children. There is streaming audio of three Gullah-flavoured folktales with animation too, told in both English and traditional Gullah. Also background history, teachers resources and lesson plans.
- H-NILAS: Stories for the Seasons
A site with seasonal stories and others about animals, plants and the land, from Nature in Legend and Story Society. The site also has monthly features and an extensive bibliography for anyone seeking stories and legends about animals, plants, or the land itself.
- Idries Shah: The Complete Works
This site reviews the very many books published by the well-known expounder of Sufi wisdom and tales, and amongst the reviews are many wonderful short tales.
- Indian stories - INDOlink Kidz-Korner
This Indian site provides a story of the day and of the month, plus extremely concise retellings of two huge epics - the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata.
- Innu Tales, History and Culture
The Innu people inhabit Nitassinan (eastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada). This page gives a good number of traditional stories, mixed in with factual information on the people.
- International Marie de France Society
For students or scholars interested in the twelfth century poetess, author of many lays. Links to all the lays are here, with online texts in English and French. Also links to aticles and essays.
- Internet Public Library Story Hour
A few children's stories, including some audio and illustrations.
- Irish Fairy Tales
Online text from Gutenberg of a book by James Stephens. Ten tales.
- Jack and the Beanstalk/Jack the Giant-Killer Project
A text and image archive with several versions of the tale from the English-speaking world.
- Jaguar Stories
A couple of Native American tales.
- Japanese Starlore and Astronomical History
Detailed essays containing mythological Japanese stories, including Orihime and Kengyuu, explaining their star lore and symbolism.
- Jumping Mouse - a Story of Seven Arrows
A favourite tale, authored by Silvia Messeri and Sandro Pintus. A mouse goes on a moving and initiatory journey.
- Kellscraft On-Line Books
Various books including story books, mainly Art Nouveau period
- Korean Folktales
- Korean Folktales
An outline of Korean culture, for teachers, plus a long and detailed introduction to Korean Folklore, including shamans, cosmology etc. A dozen folktales, with commentaries, rounds it all off, and their are a couple of links for further stories.
A major resource, beautifully designed and presented. It gives introductions, commentary, original sources, illustrations and annotated links for many subjects including: Robin Hood, King Arthur & The Matter of Britain, The Welsh Bards, Tales of Gawain, Guenevere, Percival the Fool, Merlin & the History of Britain, Sir Tristan & La Belle Iseult, Elaine of Astolat, Ballads & Broadsides, True Thomas, Tam Lin & Fair Janet, Pirates & Privateers, Blackbeard, Fairy Tales, Classic Tales, Selchies, Shakespeare's Stories, Beowulf, Sagas & Sea-Kings, Sigurd the Volsung, The Viking Age, Paladins & Princes, Knighthood in Flower, El Cid, Roland, and much more.
- Marilee's Native Americans Links
Some links to various collections of traditional stories, as well as links to resources on all aspects of these cultures, including crafts, games, songs and dances.
- Maya Stories
Traditional Storyteller's Tales, Maya Village Life Now; Sounds, phrases, numbers.
- Mayan Folktales
A few tales told by a famous Q'anjob'al storyteller
- Mudcat Storytellers' Page
Over 40 tales contributed by various people to this folk music site.
- Mules and Men
The full online text of the first book ever written by an African American on black folklore for a popular audience. Zora Neale Hurston became one of two or three historically important collectors of black folklore. Around 70 stories, plus glossary, history and commentary, plus seven chapters on Hoodoo customs and rituals, including tales of Marie Leveau. Also, a few digital audio folksongs.
- Myths and legends of ancient Korea
Six founding legends, along with a glossary of texts, motifs and figures, and a bibliography.
- Myths and Legends of the Sioux
The full text of this old book by Marie McLaughlin, comprising 38 tales.
- Nasreddin Hodja
A very brief introduction to the Turkish wise fool, and over twenty short tales.
- Nasreddin Hodja by Erol Beymen
Over seventy tales categorised into themes, and lots of other information on this complete Hodja site.
- Nasreddin Hodja stories
Almost 40 short tales of this famous Wise Fool, and a linked page of his biography.
- Nasrettin Hoca
Otherwise known as Nasruddin and many other spellings. There are five pages of stories here, each with over a dozen escapades of this wise fool from Turkey. Don't miss the link at the bottom to the page, called '600 year old jokes' that gives biographical info on Nasruddin and some pictures.
- National Story Project - NPR
A programme that ran for two years on USA's National Public Radio, airing personal stories from many people. Explore the right-hand links to read the archives or the compilation book.
- Native American Legends, Stories and Poems
Over fifty, of all kinds
- Native American Lore Index
Over 150 stories.
- Native American Medicine Bags And Love Stones
About thirty tales from the Colville Indians, including a number of Coyote stories.
- Native American Tales And Legends
Over eighty traditional tales, and a few historical ones
- Norwegian fairy tales. A classics collection
24 tales, plus a link to a page with a hundred more. Part of the extraordinary Windsor Castle Online, with masses of other tales of all kinds.
- Norwegian Folktales
A history of the collecting of Norwegian tales, including by Asbjornsen and Moe. Plus texts of 32 of the tales.
- One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night...
A humorous lie in verse form, with many variations. This page gives a few variations and speculates on their traditional origins.
- Orkneyjar - The Folklore and Legends of the Orkney Islands
These islands off Scotland have their own strong traditions, and this attractive site gives an extensive guide to them. There are quite a number of tales - of the sea, the land, ghosts and more - along with many articles on the creatures and features of Orcadian folklore. The site also gives history, photos and more.
- Planet Tolerance
A few stories on the theme of tolerance, with resources on teaching it.
- Russian and Ukrainian folk tales
45 tales, with a useful search engine so you can track down stories with themes and motifs etc. The site also has an informative series of articles which give a good sense of the old traditions of Russia. The Links page gives more sites on these and related Russian themes. This site also sells traditional Russian crafts, such as the famous and beautiful lacquer boxes which always bear illustrations of fairytales.
- SCA Storytelling Resources
Period sources of traditional tales, for those in historical re-enactment societies. A very informatively annotated and extensive list of on-line tales, and links to related information. Divided into categories: Online Anthologies, British Isles, France, German, Christian Spain, Al-Andalus, Middle-East, Italian, Scandinavian, Far Eastern, Eastern Europe, Classical.
- Selected highlights of Herodotus's work
A few short and rather wacky tales from The Histories. Herodotus' work, although historical, includes many folktales, legends and semi-mythical accounts. This comprehensive site also gives a detailed synopsis of the entire large book.
- Shaggy Dog Stories
Over twenty tales with a big groan at the end. You can find another page of them by replacing the 1 with a 2 in the URL, or go to the Stories for Scouts page below.
- Simorgh: An Old Persian Fairy Tale
A long tale which is also a mystical allegory
- Songs of the Russian People
'Songs' are to understood as the sacred epic and ballad songs of the old myths and folklore. This is the full online text of a book of Slavic mythology, tradition, folklore and ethnography. There are plenty of songs, not only from Russia but every part of the Slavic region from Serbia to Siberia. The songs are used as a starting point for a wide-ranging discussion of pre-industrial Slavic peasant life, including weddings, funerals, witchcraft, demonology, games, riddles, and seasonal traditions. Also covered are the details of Russian pagan religion and mythology, with comparisons to related topics such as Vedic and Germanic mythology. A fantastic reference for anyone interested in Russian folktales or mythology.
- Soup Tales
Everything you could wish to know about soup, including folktales, jokes, lore, literary references and much more. A joy.
- Spirit of Trees
A sumptuous site, beautifully designed and illustrated, providing a dedicated and growing resource for tree stories and tree appreciation. Folktales and myths on-site and off are searchable by genre/theme, country, or tree species. There are links to: over a hundred other websites with tree stories; curricular resources on trees and environmental issues; over 25 essays on the symbolism and significance of trees in myth and tradition; over 20 tree organisations around the world; and poems about trees - including famous poets.
- Spring Heeled Jack London, England
Strange but true...?
- Stav Academy Library
A large collection of around 140 Northern European folktales - British, Germanic, Scandinavian etc. organised by country or title. Also around 600 other documents on folklore and related themes. Run by a Nordic neo-pagan group on the Orkney Islands.
- Stories for Scouts
From MacScouter Resources Online. Around 150 tales in various categories: Indian stories, Ghost Stories, Humorous Stories, Western Stories, Stories with a Moral, Scouting Stories and Story telling tips, Shaggy Dog Stories -- Or, Complex Extended Puns, Short Shaggy Dog Stories -- punny jokes, Ghost Stories, Audience Participation Stories, Tall Tales.
- Stories That Never Grow Old
A Project Gutenberg free online text of a whole book for children. Stories are: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; Sindbad the Sailor; Robinson Crusoe; Gulliver's Travels; A Midsummer-Night's Dream; The Tempest; As You Like It; The Merchant of Venice Pilgrim's Progess; Ivanhoe; The Startling Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
- Stories, legends, and folktales around the world
A small collection, divided into a few countries/cultures. Each section also has several photos of places and cultural artefacts.
Very useful resources for tellers - collections of information on stories, culled from the Storytell listserv, on many topics. If you are looking for stories on a theme, this archive draws on the expertise of hundreds of storytellers. Plus free web display of your business card or brochure, storytelling stationery for sale, and more.
Aims to archive the voices of elders from the Canadian storytelling community, telling stories. Run by the Storytellers of Canada / Conteurs du Canada. You can hear stories told and also gain information about the lives of storytellers.
- Storytelling Resources on the Web
More online mediaeval storytelling sources aimed at those recreating mediaeval times but a treasure trove for all tellers, to complement the SCA resources page above.
- Storytime at Khandro net
Eighteen or so Legends, Teaching Tales, and Stories at this Tibetan Buddhist site. Also much cultural and philosophical background information.
- SurLaLune Fairy Tale Pages
A prime and in-depth resource for reading and researching the best known classic fairy tales. Includes the tales, their histories, similar tales from other cultures, interpretations, annotations, bibliographies specific to each tale, and other materials. Heidi Anne Heiner has produced an extensive and growing site, and also runs a sister site showing illustrations to fairy tales, by many of the best known children's illustrators of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana
Around twenty animal tales, jokes, tall tales, legends and myths collected from Lousiana, as part of a film and book project. Many have video clips of the storytellers telling them.
- Tales and Maxims from the Midrash
A large collection of sacred Jewish tales. Midrashim are Rabbinic legends that expand on details within the scriptures (including part of the Biblical Old Testament). They form a body of very popular folktales used to entertain and teach.
- Tales from Froissart
Enormous resource for this rarely available French 14th century chivalric chronicler, by Steve Muhlberger, Nipissing University, Canada. Here are nearly 150 tales and excerpts in English from the very long chronicles, aimed at a knightly and aristocratic audience. Also a thematic index, images, and other resources.
- Tales of the Punjab
A classic book of over forty Indian folktales, with notes, made available by Project Gutenberg.
- Tales of Wonder
Richard Darsie's site of Folk and Fairy Tales from Around the World, broken down into countries.
- Tall Tales and Campfire Stories
Nine tales ranging from folk tales and scary stories to a scientific theory of why dark is faster than light, and bizarre anecdotes that didn't quite make into the Darwin Awards. Great fun.
- Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots
A discussion of why Shaggy Dog stories are called that, with various examples of the 'original' tales. Plus a huge archive of 1200 short pun stories.
- Teaching Tales
A dozen or so short tales by Robert L. Pitt.
- Ten Bulls
The classic zen buddhist allegory of the spiritual path, with twelfth century illustrations and commentary. Beautiful.
- The Burma-Bucknell Bowl
A beautiful bowl with an old Jataka tale embossed on it. The story is of Vessantara, the generous King of Sivi, and is summarised here.
- The Burning of the Rice Fields
A beautifully presented short tale from Japan.
- The Campfire Stories Handbook
A large collection of tales suitable for telling round a scouting campfire, but useful for many other occasions. Includes 30 American Indian folktales, and some ghost, humorous, moral and other stories. The collection began as the rec.scouting story FAQ. Also gives a good discussion and tips section on: Story Telling; The Art of the Storyteller; How to Tell Stories; Storytelling in the Cub Pack.
- The Dragon Bestiary
Eight dragon legends, some information on dragons, and loads of pictures. The site is bilingual, English and German.
- The Frog King or Iron Heinrich
A side by side comparison of the Brothers Grimm's versions of 1812 and 1857. This shows something of how the Grimms edited and revised the folktales from oral adult versions into a little more literary children's form. This page is just one of many on interesting aspects or themes of follore, at DL Ashliman's Folklore and Mythology site.
- The Golden Legend (Aurea Legenda), Jacobus de Voragine, 1275.
Huge collection of saints' stories and legends. These seven volumes (!) of tales were the most often printed book in Europe around 1500.
- The Good Bargain
A Grimm's tale formatted for printing, complete with commentary and teaching notes. You will need Adobe's free Acrobat reader to view this page.
- The History of Tom Thumb
On-line etext of this traditional English tale, plus a couple of other short tales.
- The Moonlit Road - Ghost Stories and Folktales of the American South
An atmospheric and nicely designed site. A monthly feature story is available in text or streaming audio (Real Player). Most are adaptations of regional oral tales and come with atmospheric photos. The archives have an undisclosed number of past tales, free to registered users. Each tale has background cultural details. A very active set of messageboards allows one to discuss the tales, or share stories of one's own. And there's a bookshop with titles on the culture and tales of the area. A good example of what the internet can do to facilitate oral storytelling.
- The Mudcat Cafe
A blues and folk magazine which hosts a massive searchable Digital Tradition Folksong Database of over 8000 songs and ballads.
- The Narrative of Numbers
Book review, from the Scientific American, of 'Once upon a Number: The Hidden Mathematical Logic of Stories', by John Allen Paulos. The book and the review contain stories with mathematical puzzles, along with scientific ponderings.
- The On-Line Books Page
Visit now! The number one source for on-line text, this catalogues every book digitised on the web and is updated constantly. Over 14,000 books are listed. Searchable by title, author, subject etc. Also related special features. Keep up to date by regularly checking the new listings page for titles on your favourite subjects.
- The Story Vine
Richard Thompson presents over a dozen draw-and-tell stories, with instructions on how to draw while telling, plus some other writing ideas, language activities, and stimulating brain games to play with kids. The site is fun and useful - a great bag of tricks, and Richard has books available too.
- The Western Yugur Steppe
The Western Yugur are a small, Turkic speaking community living in the province of Gansù in China. The Literature and Culture section of this page has over 150 Folk Tales (and is regularly growing) from the various local cultures - Uygur, Monguor, Ordos, Mongol, Tibetan, Khalka and others - all grouped according to tale type, and with very useful notes on similar versions, motifs, etc, plus source notes. A supplementary page gives details of the storytellers they were collected from, both past and present. Other pages give Folk Wisdom, Folk Songs, Proverbs, Riddles, and Religion. Other sections of the page give plenty of cultural background information, plus highly useful folkloric indices - tale type, motif and others, and a site search facility. A fine resource.
- Tolstoy - Twenty-Three Tales
Online texts from 1872-1903, by Lev Nikolayevitch Tolstoy, including tales for children, popular stories, a (literary) fairytale, folktales re-told, and others.
- Turkish Archives
The Uysal-Walker Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative (ATON) is the world's largest well-organized, thoroughly indexed, and completely accessible collection of Turkish folktales and related forms. It is held at Texas Tech University Libraries, and now all the texts are online, as Acrobat files. You can read 3000 tales from 72 large volumes, in English translation, taken from tape recordings. The files here are scans of the original typescripts, and so rather large to download, but each tale is titled descriptively - there are lots of Nasruddin tales for those that love these profound and funny stories. Storytellers should note that although the actual scans and texts are copyrighted, the stories are folktales and of course should be told. This site also has large quantities of cultural information, folk music, and epics, including in streaming audio. You can hear a six hour epic in Turkish and read several more - if you can read Cyrillic. There are photos of folkloric and cu
- Turkish Proverbs
A long collection of traditional proverbs, from the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative..
- Urban Legends Reference Pages
Otherwise known as Snopes, this is the prime reference site. It not only gives texts of multiple versions of huge numbers of such modern legends, all categorised, but it also gives full details of efforts to verify them, with a verdict of true, false etc. Handily there's a whole section on computer virus hoaxes, never forward such a warning to your friends before looking here (because virus warnings are always hoaxes). The site also features a good search facility, mailing lists for site updates and discussing urban legends, a top ten of searches, a randomizer for browsing the legends, a messageboard, and a compilation of books about urban legends etc.
- Vedantic Tales
A number of tales from the Vedas - the huge Hindu scriptures which contain many wonderful stories.
- Violet Book Arts Museum: Golden Age of Illustration
A wonderful resource - the classic illustrations from twenty-one children's books from various cultures.
- Western Yugur Folktales
The Western Yugur are a small, Turkic speaking community living in the province of Gansù in China. This page has over 150 Folk Tales (and is regularly growing) from the various local cultures - Uygur, Monguor, Ordos, Mongol, Tibetan, Khalka and others - all grouped according to tale type, and with very useful notes on similar versions, motifs, etc, plus source notes. A supplementary page gives details of the storytellers they were collected from, both past and present. Go back to the home page and find the Literature and Culture section to get Folk Wisdom, Folk Songs, Proverbs, Riddles, and Religion. Other sections of the site give plenty of cultural background information, plus highly useful folkloric indices - tale type, motif and others, and a site search facility. A fine resource.
- White Buffalo Calf Woman Brings First Pipe (Chasing Horse)
- Windsor Castle Online: wisdom, wit and humour
Absolutely extraordinary site, and nothing to do with the real Windsor Castle, as far as I can tell. Not that I can tell what the site is about at all! But it's chock-full of wonderful tales (esp. Scandinavian), insights, essays, folklore, philosophy, quotations and more. And the navigation is mind-boggling - there seem to be multiple ways of exploring, so I suggest clicking on everything. This page is a site-map, which at least gives a partial idea of the scope.
- Women of the Celts in Myth, Legend and Story
Long article from the Isle of Skye, giving history and stories.
- Yahoo! > Folk and Fairy Tales
Directory of sites offering tales - some general, some on a theme or from one culture, including small categories dedicated to the Arabian Nights, and to Grimms.
- Yahoo! > Folklore
Directory of many sites offering tales, and also information about folklore. Categories include: Animals and Plants, Ballads, Fables, Folk and Fairy Tales, Folk Medicine, Journals, Legends, Urban Legends. Also links to many country-specific folklore sites.
Up to Contents
Classic Tales and Collections
655+ Fables, indexed in table format, with morals listed, and many more on the way. Included are Real Audio narrations, Classic Images, Random Images, Random Fables, Search Engine, Message Forum, and also all the Christian Andersen and Grimms tales.
- Arabian Nights
Dedicated site by the Electronic Literature Foundation, presenting the whole Andrew Lang translation for reading. Also articles, and discussion forum.
- Arabian Nights or Alf Layla wa Layla
Two full editions of the Arabian Nights online, by Burton and by Lang. The texts can be viewed in various ways and presentations, with beautiful illustrations. There is also an authoritative essay on both the Arabic and Engllish development of the 1001 Nights.
- Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
The classic book online at The Baldwin Project. Lots of great stories.
- Chaucer's Canterbury Tales ~ presented by ELF
Two full editions of the Canterbury Tales online: the original Middle English text, and a Modern English translation in rhyming couplets. The texts can be viewed in various ways and presentations, with beautiful mediaeval illustrations. The Canterbury Tales include various popular folktales, given a poetic form, and was highly influential on the European collections of folktales.
- Cinderella Project
A text and image archive to a dozen versions of the tale from the English-speaking world.
- Cinderella Stories
Professor DK Brown's list of variations, with online links and a substantial bibliography.
- English Fairy Tales - Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs was a major folklorist and collector of tales. These fifteen tales (click the Reading link) from his two published volumes are very welcome, and timings are given too. This page is part of a Folklore and Mythology online textbook from the University of Oklahoma, USA, which has pages on many folktale from other cultures.
- Grimm Brothers' Children's and Household Tales
The texts of some of the tales, plus German language versions, and Tale Types (which help track down other variants).
- Grimm Tales
This is a much more accurate version of the Margaret Hunt translation of 1884 than the other internet sites use. Every tale, both individually and as a downloadable zip file of the whole collection. Also a brief introduction to the collection.
- Grimms' Fairy Tales
The whole text of all 209 tales. Many other Grimms sites only give a small selection.
- Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales and Stories
Pretty comprehensive resource, though not quite all Andersen's stories are here. But as well as tales there's a historical introduction, chronological list of all the tales, artwork, a cross-referenced index, and lots of information on Andersen's life.
- Il Pentamerone (Story of Stories), by Giambattista Basile
Abridged edition by EF Strange, 1911, with only 32 stories out of the 50, but with beautiful illustrations by Warwick Goble
- Jataka Stories
Over thirty Jatakas out of the hundreds in existence. These are traditional Buddhist teaching tales, and the many characters are considered to be the Buddha's previous incarnations.
- Jataka Stories - Buddhist Tales for Young and Old
Fifty tales from Buddhist tradition. Each jataka here has a useful keyword to indicate its theme. Read another fifty tales in Volume II:here.
- Jataka Stories - Buddhist Tales for Young and Old (in Acrobat format)
The second volume is here, and there are illustrated versions, for children to colour, here: Vol. I, Vol. II All these volumes are in Acrobat format (you probably have the free reader installed, if not go to www.adobe.com), which means they are formatted for good printing out.
- Little Red Riding Hood Project
A text and image archive with 16 versions of the tale from the English-speaking world.
- Little Red Riding Hood Variants
A list of books and recordings
- Snow White resources
Kay E. Vandergrift's thorough and interesting site exploring every aspect of Snow White: meaning, study and criticism; 36 online versions; illustrations; films and recordings; weblinks; and lengthy bibliographies.
- Straparola: Doralice
The only online tale so far from the classic 16th century Italian work by Straparola, the Pleasant [or Facetious] Nights.
- The Bustan of Sa'di
Bustan means flower-garden; this is a composition by Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi, Persian (Iranian) 13th century poet, of stories and maxims each representing a flower of the garden. "The sugar that I bring is not that which is eaten, but what knowers of truth take away with respect ..."
- The Gulistan of Sa'di, (c. 1256)
183 instructional stories, mostly very short, divided into the following subjects: The Manners of Kings; the Morals of Dervishes; On the Excellence of Content; On the Advantages of Silence; On Love and Youth; On Weakness and Old Age; On the Effects of Education; On Rules for Conduct in Life. There is a great deal of eloquent verse amongst the stories, in the Persian tradition.
- The Heptameron of Margaret, Queen of Navarre.
A classic French collection of folktales, all linked into a frame story, as with the Decameron etc.
- The Pentamerone
A small selection, just nine of the stories from this important 17th century Italian collection. But they each are similar to tales in more recent collections such as Grimms, and the parallels are noted here. Interesting, and perhaps useful for researching variants.
- The Pentamerone - by Giambattista Basile
32 of the tales from this influential 17th century Italian collection. There are 18 more tales in the full version, but that is not yet available online.
- Treasures of Persian Literature
Online texts of great classics, full of folktales and wisdom. Includes the Gulistan of Sa'adi, the Bustan of Sa'adi, the Shahnameh, the Masnavi, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and more.
- Vikram and the Vampire
Richard Burton's translation of eleven of the classic 25 Tales of a Vampire from Hindu folklore. They are dilemma tales, within a frame story about a great king who has to carry a vampire back to a magician.
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Epics and Myths
- Camelot Project - Arthurian texts
A database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information at the University of Rochester.
The Kalevala is the national epic of Finland, and the whole text is here presented in English in the correct poetic metre - trochaic tetrameter. A long preface gives much background cultural information, and there's a glossary too.
- Kalevala Summary
A summary of each episode of the great Finnish epic of the Kalevala. A useful way to get acquainted with this long and powerful story.
This summary by C. Rajagopalachari (also known as Rajaji), 1950, gives the Hindu sacred epic in 107 stories, each with a title that helps one get to know the structure of the whole. "Rajaji was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, an ardent freedom fighter, and the first Indian Governor General of India. His books on Marcus Aurelius, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads are popular. But in Mahabharata he displays his inimitable flair for telling stories and applying their moral to the needs of modem times."
- Mahabharata - a synopsis
Summarising the great epic of India from 200,000 lines down to one page is quite a feat, and with commentary too! This is one of the greatest stories in the world, and here's your chance to absorb the gist of it in one go. Another page gives further commentary and background.
- Mythic Crossroads: Myths and Legends
Huge and excellent site, with comprehensive links to mythology sites and resources, divided into British, Egyptian, Greek/Roman, Norse and Other links, plus history sites too.
- Myths and Legends
Hundreds of links to sites both of and about mythology. One of the best resources, Christopher Siren's epic site has detailed annotations of more weblinks than you could ever eat, regularly updated, and very usefully divided geographically into cultures.
A directory of sites connected with mythology, folklore and religion of each culture, in the categories of: Art, Bibliographies, Electronic Texts, Festivals, General Info, Indices, Newsgroups, Societies, and Traditions and Doctrines. A useful reference - some sites are reviewed for content and relevance, and there's a site-wide search engine - but many categories are fairly sparse, and no myth texts are archived here, so this isn't yet a one-stop site to find myths.
- Ovid's Metamorphoses
An introduction and commentary with discussion of myths and links to sources and influences in art and literature. Ovid's influence on Western art and literature cannot be exaggerated. The Metamorphoses is our best classical source of 250 myths. This site gives a detailed synopsis of all the stories, with illustrations from famous art. Essential reading - any storyteller who doesn't know these stories is missing a large chunk of the oral tradition of the West.
- Sacred Texts: Ancient Near East
A few texts such as the Enuma Elish and Gilgamesh, a couple of online books with lots of stories, plus links to excellent FAQs on the ancient civilizations of the area.
- Sacred Texts: Legends and Sagas
An archive mainly of Northern European, but also a little of Middle Eastern material.
- SCA Storytelling Resources
Period sources of traditional tales, for those in historical re-enactment societies. A very informatively annotated and extensive list of on-line tales including many epics, and links to related information. Divided into categories: Online Anthologies, British Isles, France, German, Christian Spain, Al-Andalus, Middle-East, Italian, Scandinavian, Far Eastern, Eastern Europe, Classical.
- The Mahabharata
This sacred epic - the longest in the world, and the scripture of the Hindus - is summarised here in only twelve parts. Extremely useful as an introduction to the story and a managable retelling.
- The Ramayana
This much loved epic Indian love story about the hero Rama is summarised here in only four parts. Extremely useful as an introduction to the story and a managable retelling.
- The Ramayana and Mahabharata, R. Dutt Tr.
Condensed versions, in verse, prefaced by brief summaries, and with background discussions. Very useful for getting to know these essential and popular epics.
- The Wooing of Etain
The text of the oldest Irish myth.
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- 5 minute Irish stories
Conrad Bladey's collection of over 120 traditional Irish stories. All are short enough to be handy in exercises teaching storytelling.
- Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By
Folk and Fairy Tales from Around the World that Help Kids Grow. A fun site with lots of resources, including over fifty tales, searchable by age suitability, type, subject, country/culture, and theme of potential teaching. Themes include Cooperation, courage, creative thinking, friendship, generosity, honesty, justice, kindness, learning, love, perseverance, regret and recovery, respect for Nature, restraint, selfawareness, selflessness. Also a number of free play scripts based on folktales, and an email newsletter.
- Ancient Irish Tales
Conrad Bladey enthusiastically presents traditional stories and cultural information including Celebrations, Weddings, Wakes, Monastic/Saints tales, Seasonal celebrations, Ancient Lore and sayings, and much more.
- Audience Participation Stories
80 tales, fully annotated with instructions for audience actions etc., collected by Scouting Bear, as part of his scouting site.
- Eldrbarry's Stories
Over forty tales, collected on a variety of themes from Folktales, Raven tales, Christmas stories, tales from Eleanor Farjeon and Howard Pyle, and Bible stories. Some have commentaries and telling notes. Part of Eldrbarry's comprehensive resource site for storytellers.
- Estonian Stories
A couple of short tales on Beate Larsen's site
- Gifts of Story
Aaron Shepard's adaptations of folktales from around the world, with helpful suggestions to storytellers on themes, ages, times etc. You can hear audio versions of a couple too. These tales are also all available as printed books.
- Hasidic Stories
Over sixty Hasidic Jewish stories, plus a good number of articles on the nature, practice, spiritual dynamics, and themes of these mystical stories.
- Holiday Stories
Tales relevant to some seasonal festivals - St Patrick's Day, Valentine's, Christmas.
- How Come? Stories
Beate Larsen's large collection of these story-puzzles. The storyteller describes a scene - the ending of a story - and the listeners have to guess what has happened. The listeners ask the teller questions, answered only by "yes", "no" and "that's not important".
- Mountainstories online journal
Stephen Hollen, Kentucky, USA, writes this blog full of humorous stories and musings on life in the Appalachian mountains.
- Our Library
A growing resource on Papa Joe's site of the texts of tales, collected and presented by various storytellers, under various themes.
- Stories in a Nutshell - short summaries
Over 35 concise folktale plots by Heather Forest. Useful summaries that can be fleshed out, used for students to develop, or told as brief tales.
- Story Arts | Stories in a Nutshell
Stories in a Nutshell A Collection of Concise Folktale Plots for Student Retelling by Heather Forest
- Tales from the History and Legends of Iceland and Scotland
Muff Worden's collection.
- Tales of Faerie Worldwide
A site dedicated to Faery, with this page of a few fairytales from each of various countries. Some have nice illustrations from source books too.
- The Soul of Hope
Doug Lipman's long tale of the Baal Shem Tov, a Jewish mystical adventure. This site gives a detailed summary and a couple of excerpts, but for the full tale you'll have to go and see the live telling, or buy the recording.
- The Storyteller - four volumes of tales
Loads of stories on this huge site. There are four volumes of forty stories each, in The Storyteller, all published here online in their entirety, clearly and usefully laid out . The forward to each book invites the reader to tell the tales. In addition
- Tim Sheppard's Storytelling Resources for Storytellers: Homepages
See this section of my site for more links to the websites of storytellers. Many of these contain small collections of tales.
- Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
Over fifty of these intriguing, provocative and oddly satisfying teaching tales. Plus some background information and a little philosophy for those interested.
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- American Memory from the Library of Congress
The American Memory project is one of the very best sources for original material dealing with US history that’s available on line. It has e.g. transcribed slave narratives, a huge collection of African American material - not only narratives but pictures, documents, WPA interviews either as transcriptions in dialect; in Real Audio format or both. They also have things like early storytellers ad flyers and newspaper ads. If your doing historical characters this is an excellent place to pick up tips on the dialect they would have used, pacing, sentence structure, etc. More material added every day.
- Electronic text collections - Yahoo
Large list of online repositories of texts. Although much is literature, there are many classic collections of oral tales and folklore.
- Folklore Books online
The Online Books Page's direct links to over sixty full book texts. Covers books of folktales, including many classics, and books about folklore study etc.
- In Parentheses
Large collection of source texts from many cultures and periods, all elegantly presented as printable Acrobat files. NOTE: This means you need the free Acrobat reader from www.adobe.com to view or print them. Many of the old epics, sagas, legends and myths are presented here, including Arthurian, Chinese, Castilian, Catalan, Dutch, English, French, German, Gothic, Greek, Irish, Italian, Latin, Japanese, Malayan, Norse, Peruvian, Provencal, Russian, Sanskrit and Syrian.
- Internet Sacred Text Archive
On-line texts of sacred myths and sagas and legends of various traditions: European; Scandinavian; Arabian; Persian; Russian; Arthurian; Celtic, including good Irish material; many of the original sources of classical mythology; Egyptian; Ancient Near East etc. Also the sacred scriptures of many traditions, and further links. An invaluable site. Look particularly under the Legends and Sagas link in the main menu.
- Mythology and Sacred Stories online
This Religion category at the Online Books Page links to over 1700 full book texts, of which a fair few are about or contain myths and scriptures from all around the world.
- Native-American online books of stories
Around 140 texts, many of whole books, at the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library, USA.
- Omphaloskepsis Ebooks
Free e-book site with books by Rumi, Attar, Hafiz, Jami and others.
- Online Books Page
This is the first place to look if you want to find any online text. Over 18,000 free full book texts are linked, with more every day - fiction, non-fiction, everything. Search by author or title or browse the categories. Find classic stories, myths, epics etc. from every tradition, text books to teach you techniques, history and background information. The news page helps you keep up with the constant additions.
- Online Children's Stories
David K. Brown's extensive links to texts, at the Children's Literature Web Guide. Includes sections on Story Collections; Folklore, Myth and Legend; Songs and Poetry; Classics for Young People; Christmas Stories.
- Project Bartleby
On-line library project of the Columbia University, New York.
- The Internet Classics Archive
Collection of almost 400 classical Greek and Roman texts (in English translation) with user-provided commentary.
- UNESCO/IFLA Directory of Digitized Collections
Offers a listing of major digitized heritage collections and on-going digitization programmes world-wide. It is intended to provide a single focal point of information on digitized collections.
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