European Storytelling Archive

A cylindrical tower of books seen from inside

The aim of this project is to create an archive of subtitled digital films of oral storytelling drawn from a wide range of European languages and cultural traditions.

We chose to create a video archive in order to preserve not only the texts of the stories, but also the non-verbal narrative and performance techniques of a wide range of storytellers.

A very important part of this archive is the Young Storytellers' Project, which will offer a virtual environment for children and young people to access a selection of stories. This will be of use to both the study of scholars and to teachers who wish to encourage their pupils or students to tell and record their own stories.

Mick Gowar reads the folk story ‘Yallery Brown’ featured in the European Storytelling Archive

To encourage these additional contributions, we developed a suite of open source software tools, through which school pupils and further/higher education students are able to create their own digital stories using computer technology and social media as a contemporary analogue of oral transmission.

Project lead Dr Mick Gowar has written or edited more than 100 books for children and young people. He visits schools, libraries, colleges and festivals throughout the UK and abroad to give readings, performances and lead workshops. The project was supported by the British Academy (Small Research Grant).