The Dutch Folktale Database & The Dutch Song Database

The Dutch Folktale Database, which was started in 1994, contains a wealth of folktales (fairy tales, riddles, traditional legends, jokes, contemporary legends) from the Middle Ages until the present day. Each story includes metadata such as the location where it was told, the recorded date, the narrator, and, if possible, the international catalogue number (ATU typology). The Meertens Institute still has the necessary collections in the archives and editions that need to be entered. Some regions are still somewhat poorly highlighted and require additional materials.

For the upcoming research, modern and historical materials will be further supplemented. For modern material, we can turn to social media (e.g. urban legends, internet memes, etc.), but there is also a significant need for materials from the 17th and 18th centuries to be supplemented using almanacs, jest books, and similar items. The database will be used for research into the form, meaning, variation, and function of folktales and for computational study of things such as narrative patterns, geographical distribution, motive clustering, gender differentiation, and the occurrence of sentiments. Finally, the folktale database will also be used for the digital knowledge valorization project of the SagenJager, which contains hike and bike routes that run from one folktale to the next.

A great deal of work on the Dutch Song Database stems from the current and upcoming research projects. In the coming period, relevant (meta)data will be enriched or added to the canon research (see B2e) and collaboration will be sought out more often with existing initiatives, in order to utilize the data available elsewhere as much as possible. Where a great deal of attention was previously given to historical song material, many of the primary materials from the more recent past will also be released.