Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales

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Workplace for the Enzyklopädie des Märchens

The Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales (Enzyklopädie des Märchens) is a German reference work on international Folkloristics, which is anticipated to run to 14 volumes. It examines over two centuries of research into the folk narrative tradition. It was begun by Kurt Ranke in the 1960s and is continued by chief editor Rolf Wilhelm Brednich, both of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen).

Like the technical periodical Fabula it is published by the Verlag Walter de Gruyter publishing house with working premises at the Georg-August University of Göttingen and as a project of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. The forerunner of this work was the Handbuch des deutschen Märchens (Handbook of German Fairy Tales), of which only two volumes were published.

The first article Aarne, Antti Amatus appeared in slip in 1975, and the first volume in 1977. By 2011, thirteen volumes had been published, and the first fascicle of volume 14 through the article on "Water" (Wasser). In all there will be approximately 3600 articles, alphabetically arranged, from over 800 authors from over 60 countries.

The Encyclopedia of Fairytales provides an overview in the following areas, as relevant to folk narrative research:

  • Theories and methodologies,
  • Genre questions, problems of style and structure, issues of context and performance
  • Important tale-types and motifs
  • Biographies of scholars, collectors, and authors
  • National and regional surveys

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