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A Global Story Database

Which features of stories are universal, and which vary?

What do the world's stories reveal about psychological diversity?

Why do humans find stories so appealing?

Named for the West African trickster who delivered literature to humanity, Anansi is a global database containing more than 1,500 myths, legends, and folktales. Our aim is to use Anansi not only to identify patterns in the world's stories, but also to study the minds and societies of diverse peoples.


Anansi includes 1,520 stories from 76 cultures selected to cover human cultural and geographic diversity. Our incredible team of researchers is currently coding each story for 25 story-level variables and each character for 65 features. We will combine these manual annotations with automated techniques to provide rich representations of the world's narratives.

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