Tales Online

A collection of yesterday’s tales to spark tomorrow’s imagination.


A variety of stories for a variety of users.

Storytellers & Creatives

• Thousands of traditional myths, folklore, fairy tales, and legends from cultures around the world
• Includes a wide variety of motifs and genres to choose from
• All tales are public domain content (open for use and adaptation for commercial purposes)

Teachers & Educators

• Guide students through the rich history of world cultures through their storytelling traditions
• Current collections include tales from over 20 countries and indigenous groups
• Use and adapt the full text of any tale in the database for online learning or classroom use (all tales are copyright free)

Folklorists & Researchers

• With a Researcher or Institution subscription, gain access to Stith Thompson Motif Index numbers and descriptions for over 1,000 of the collection’s tales
• Tales can be searched using either full-text keywords or motif number
• Searching and research assistance is available for all database users over email

Explore our subscription options and prices

About Us

In 1999, librarian May Brottman led the development of Tales Online with the hope of creating a platform that would give wider access to the world's storytelling heritage. Today, the database is the product of three generations of passion for this original mission.

Tales Online is a database of folktales, fairy tales, myths of indigenous peoples, legends, sagas, and fables of world cultures drawn from a variety of collections. These sources include folkloric journal articles, archival material, and printed volumes. Nearly all of the full-text tales in the database are available for research, performance, adaptation, and other educational and creative purposes through the public domain. Learn more about us and what we offer here.

Request a Free Subscription

We allow a 15 day free trail subscription to our site.  A temporary User ID and Password will be sent to you and will be good for a 15 day free trial.