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Myths, Fairy Tales and Folklore

A guide for students and researchers interested in the study of Mythology, Fairy Tales and Folklore.

Primary Sources

Become a better researcher - try using Subject Headings

In addition to keyword searching, or searching by title and author, you may search Bobcat by subject heading, in order to make use of the catalog's controlled vocabulary. Subject headings are assigned to published material by the Library of Congress. They can be very broad, consisting of one word, for example, literature or folklore  or mythology, but they also tend to link terms together, specifying what a work is about according to theme, period, geographical region, etc. Examples of more specific subject headings include:

Literature--history and criticism--theory, etc.

Psychoanalysis and folklore

Gender identity in literature

Fairy tales -- France -- History and criticism

In general, if you are looking for criticism related to an individual (writer, performer, artist, etc), you can add a hyphen to the person's name and attach criticism and interpretation, then search as a subject heading. If you are looking for criticism of a theme or literary or artistic movement, you can attach the phrase history and criticism. For example:


Carter, Angela, 1940--Criticism and interpretation


Carroll, Lewis, 1832-1898 -- Criticism and interpretation

You could also do a keyword search, combining the terms fairy tales and criticism, both as subject heading terms.

Fairy tales -- History and criticism


A selection of books from the stacks

Need a research topic? Have you thought about Graphic Novels?

There are a number of Graphic Novel series and stand alones that reinterpret classic fairy tales and give them a modern twist.  Two of the most notable are Bill Willingham's Fables and it's spinoff series, Jack of  Fables.   If mermaids are your area of interest, Sailor Twain is for you.  If you are looking for a research topic that is off the usual path, take a look at some of the graphic novels in our collection.  You may be inspired!