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        Carried to an extreme even the "E's" could be classed in the Dewey
System, they'd be in the 800's (most in 813 or 823), but are usually
pulled out for convenience.  "Fairy tales" are really folklore in some way
based on an oral tradition and without an "original" known author and
therefore go in the 398's.  They are usually left in "nonfiction" so they
can stay together and be divided by country of origin. "The Little Match
Girl" has a known author - H.C. Andersen - and so really should be in the
E's (or in the Danish literature part of the 800's if you like), not in
the 398's. The main thing is to put things where they will be the most
useful - folklore could be in the "E's" or "Fiction," or you could put
H.C. Andersen in the 398's (I've seen places that made up a number there
for "modern" fairy tales) - the whole point of classification is to help
the user find what they want.

Craig Johnson
Iowa City Public Library

On Sun, 3 Nov 1996, Wendy Stoll wrote:

> Can anyone give me a definition of a "fairy tale" that will adequately
> explain to primary children why they are classified as 398.2, instead of
> filed under "E" as are the rest of the picture books.
> The only thing I can think of is that they are no longer "owned" by anyone;
> that is, even when we know who made up the story, it was so long ago that
> anyone can retell it now.  The dictionary definition of a "fairy tale" can
> also be applied to some "E" books "a fanciful tale of legendary deeds and
> creatures."  And some "fairy tales", such as "The Little Match Girl" for
> example, don't fit this definition.
> Thanks for your help :-)
> Wendy Stoll

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