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Folk Tales and Fairy Stories in the Arts Library

Little Matchstick Girl
Subject Areas Covered

To make it easier to locate material, the library uses the Dewey Classification system. This groups together subjects using a numbering system. The subject numbers for fairy tales and folklore are :-

398 Dictionaries and Guides
398.21 Analytical / Critical Approaches / Folk stories and fairy tales from other countries
398.22 Arthurian myth and medieval stories
398.6-8 Nursery rhymes and riddles
398.9 Proverbs

Specialist Material

The Library has a great range of specialist collections. One that may be of interest is The Parker Collection of Children's Books. The collection has a selection of folk tales and fairy stories, many are illustrated. There are variant editions, simplified versions intended for a younger audience and retellings and reinterpretations by modern authors like Alan Garner, Angela Carter and Jane Yolen.

Other sources of information include

Biography and Information Files Card Index - journals and newspapers articles are indexed for relevant articles.

Illustration Collection - this consists of illustrations obtained from journals and magazines collected together under subject. There is a box containing Dragon illustrations. This collection is no longer added to.

Index to Fairy Tales 1949 - 72 with an update 1973 - 77 this is useful for tracking down individual stories.

Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales - editor Jack Zipes a useful general reference book.


As well as book material the section takes a range of journalscovering a variety of subjects. Unfortunately we do not take any specific journals covering these subjects.

Suggested Websites: Folk Tales and Fairy Stories

We have compiled a number of web-sites pertinent to the subjects covered in Arts, Languages and Literature Section. For reasons of space our choices are very selective. We believe the sites chosen will be useful, reflecting the questions regularly posed by our users.

The list cannot hope to be definitive. We will listen to what people have to say about the chosen sites. We will consider recommendations, and may phase out sites, which are not used or superseded.


Grimm's Fairy Tales based upon a 1914 translation.


Folk and fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. The site includes interactive narrated and animated stories.


Hans Andersen fairy stories. The site includes a biography and links. The stories are interactive and animated.


Fairytale and folklore studies featuring annotated stories. Includes discussions and illustrations.


Online collection of Aesop's Fables includes a total of 656+ Fables


Popular legends and fairy tales. Archival illustrations, lists for further reading.


Guide to resources on the web.

Further Information

Because it is difficult to breakdown subjects into discrete areas there is some overlap with subjects held on other floors of the Central Library.

Information relating to myths, legends, superstition and the supernatural can be found in the Social Sciences Library

The majority of the material held in the Central Library is for use in the Libraryonly. The exceptions are the Central Lending Library, Music Services, Centre for the Child and the Learning Centre.

You can use the online Library Catalogue to help you locate material. Some items published before 1973 or that are in the Collections may not be listed in the online catalogue.

Most of the current material is available for browsing on the shelves in the Arts, Languages and Literature section on Floor 3 of Birmingham Central Library. Older or valuable items are held in a closed access store and can be made available on request.

As some items held in the store are valuable, you may be asked to provide proof of your name and address. To consult certain particularly rare and valuable items you will need to book an appointment.

All our staff are pleased to help you with your enquiry which can be made in person, via telephone,fax, e-mail or letter. It is always advisable to contact us before you make a special journey.

Please note We are not responsible for the content of other organisations' websites.

Arts, Languages and Literature
Children's Literature
Foreign Literature
English Literature