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Reference Starting Points
Here are a set of reference tools that you can use to start your research.
Note: Many of the databases in this guide are restricted to UW students, staff and faculty. These are marked with . To connect to these databases from home you will need to log in with your UWNetId.
American, African and Old European Mythologies
This comprehensive book of mythologies gathers eighty articles from distinguished scholars covering a fascinating variety of themes and topics.
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
This book is a study of animals - their natural history, mythology, folklore and religious significance around the world as well as their role in our lives, dreams and everyday language.
These 130 articles explore mythologies in societies from India to Japan. Among the many topics are Buddhist and Hindu symbolic systems, myth in pre-Islamic Iran, Indonesian rites of passage, Chinese cosmology and demons, and Japanese conceptions of the afterlife and the "vital spirit."
Daily Life Through History This link opens in a new window
Primary documents, essays, images, maps, and timelines depicting daily life around the world and throughout history
An Encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and legend. On-line encyclopedia best used as a glossary/dictionary for mythological references. Indexed by culture of mythology and alphabetically.
A controlled vocabulary, put together by the American Folklore Society and the American Folklife Society of the Library of Congress that can help you find the best possible search terms when doing research on folklore, ethnomusicology, ethnology and related fields.
Gale Ebooks This link opens in a new window
Full text encyclopedias in all subject areas
Handbook of Mesoamerican Mythology
A handbook that explores mythologies in depth, offering insight into the complex interrelations of myth, history, and culture.
Motif Index of Folk-Literature
The online version of Stith Thompson's 6 volume classic work Motif-Index of Folk Literature Printed edition located in Suzzallo Reference, GR67 T52 1955. U Alberta has a nice explanation of how to use this tool here: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~urban/Projects/English/Content/Motif_Help.htm
Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World
Spanning almost one thousand years, from the first Olympic Games in 776 BC to the death of Marcus Aurelius in AD 180, this accessible and wide-ranging reference work draws on the groundbreaking Oxford Classical Dictionary to present more than 2,500 entries on the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome.
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Full text dictionaries, encyclopedias, and subject reference works from Oxford University Press.
Pop Culture Universe This link opens in a new window
Contemporary and 20th century popular culture sources.
Sage Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Encyclopedias and handbooks on many subjects.
Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel, a German fairy tale first published in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm. Illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1909