Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT)

From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms

Fairy tales

  • Short simple folk narratives that feature fantastic forces and magical beings and are usually intended for children.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Fairy tales
  • Variants

    • Fairy stories
    • Fairytales
    • Magic tales
    • Märchen
    • Stories, Fairy
    • Wonder tales
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: GSAFD, 2000(Fairy tales. Use for short simple narratives often of folk origin and usually intended for children, involving fantastic forces and magical beings such as dragons, elves, fairies, goblins, witches and wizards.)
    • found: Ruse, C. The Cassell dictionary of literary and language terms, 1992(Fairy tale: A story about the adventures of fairies and similar supernatural beings, especially for children.)
    • found: Encylopædia Britannica online, July 11, 2013(Märchen, plural Märchen, folktale characterized by elements of magic or the supernatural, such as the endowment of a mortal character with magical powers or special knowledge; variations expose the hero to supernatural beings or objects. The German term Märchen, used universally by folklorists, also embraces tall tales and humorous anecdotes; although it is often translated as "fairy tale," the fairy is not a requisite motif. Märchen usually begin with a formula such as "once upon a time," setting the story in an indefinite time and place)
    • found: Wikipedia, May 16, 2013(Fairy tale. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. Some folklorists prefer to use the German term Märchen or "wonder tale" to refer to the genre over fairy tale)
    • found: The American heritage dictionary of the English language, ©2000, via, viewed on May 16, 2013(Märchen n. pl. Märchen. A folktale or fairy story.)
    • found: Folklore : an encyclopedia of beliefs, customs, tales, music, and art, c1997(Magic tale. A lengthy folktale containing elements of fantasy, such as animals endowed with speech, magical objects, monsters and witches, or marvelous helpers and partners. The term magic tale (Aarne's Zaubermärchen) corresponds to the term fairy tale. Certain folklorists and literary critics have suggested the use of the term magic tale in order to distinguish oral folktales from literary tales of fantasy. Because oral and literary traditions have intermingled repeatedly in European tales during the past few centuries, favoring the term magic tale over the more widely known fairy tale is simply a matter of taste.)
    • found: LCSH, Oct. 22, 2014(Fairy tales. UF Fairytales)
  • General Notes

    • Short simple folk narratives that feature fantastic forces and magical beings and are usually intended for children.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2017-03-15: revised
  • Alternate Formats

Suggest terminology

The LC Linked Data Service welcomes any suggestions you might have about terminology used for a given heading or concept.

Would you like to suggest a change to this heading?

Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes.

Fields denoted with an asterisk (*) are required.