Tales Online

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


A variety of stories for a variety of users.

Storytellers & Creatives

  • Over 16,000 traditional myths, folklore, fairy tales, and legends from storytelling traditions around the world
  • Collections are fully searchable as text for easy navigation and use
  • 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

  • More than 250 fully digitized volumes, including publication information, original illustrations, author's notes, and other appendices
  • With a Researcher or Institution subscription, gain access to Stith Thompson Motif Index numbers, descriptions, and additional search features for 1,000 of the collection’s tales
  • User and research assistance is available for all database users via email

Explore our subscription options and prices

In 1999, librarian and educator 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 digital library 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. 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.

Try it for free!

Explore everything that Tales Online has to offer with a free 15-day trial.