Plain text format from project gutenburg (All ebooks accessed on January 25, 2016)


Bullfinch’s Mythology: Age of Fable url:

Myths of Babylonia and Assyria url:

Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome url:

Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts url:



Representation of Deities of the Maya ManuscriptsPapers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol. 4, No. 1url: The Legends of the Jews Volume 1 url: Myths & Legends of China url: Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to Hebrew Tradition url:

The Divine Mythology of the North url:

When looking for different texts with which to create a mini-corpus, I wanted to find a field where I could easily gather a variety of different sources that could possibly be united be a single theme as a target for analysis. I decided to pursue the written mythologies of ancient civilizations in order to study and compare their explanations of the origins of life or of creation in the hopes of finding early signs of some sort of pattern. I tried to include a myths and legends from different parts of the world in order to get a broader perspective on creation stories, so I opted to include not only the myths of ancient European cultures but also those of the Mayans, Native Americans, and the Chinese.  I compiled my metadata in the following categories: book title, publication date, online source, volume and edition number (when applicable), author name, nationality, gender, dates of birth and death, and primary language. Much of the information I sought to list for the actual texts was meant to provide for easy methods of organizing and accessing the material. In regards to the authors, I was hoping to gather data to determine whether they were writing myths and legends associated with their own respective heritage and if they were able to read and analyze and primary sources that were available or if they were editing and rewriting the earlier translations of others. I thought that this information would be relevant if I end up searching through the texts for common words in the manner described by Stephen Ramsey in “An Algorithmic Criticism”. Having information on whether the authors were also translators and if they were working with a language that they knew would be useful in trying to find common words or patterns because of the potential of different translations to skew the data as it is gathered.  In regards to my experience of the actual legwork of gathering and organizing data to form a mini-corpus, there were a few obstacles that arose that I would not have anticipated beforehand. Though the work of meticulously searching through databases for an assortment of texts and then formatting, saving, and organizing them was tedious, the most frustrating and challenging moments came when it seemed that the information I was looking for either wasn’t available at all or was simply too well hidden for me to find. Because I’m not working with classics of literature, much of the background for the authors (With the exception of Thomas Bulfinch) was not readily available. As a result, there are a few sections on my metadata sheet that remain blank. In addition, I was at a disadvantage when gathering the texts because I am still not entirely aware of what is possible in regards to digital analysis and criticism and what sorts of goals were realistic. I imagine that this is a common sensation for people entering the field, as new tools and methodologies are constantly being developed and redefined. I typically embark on projects (for school and otherwise) with at least a vague notion of what the finished product could potentially look like, and not being able to do so while gathering data was a bit bewildering. I think that the challenges I am facing in trying to the potential methods and realistic goals of taking a digital approach to literary or cultural studies could be applied to the field as a whole, and will possibly remain so until the Digital Humanities reaches a more established position in the academic sphere where its methods can be (at least somewhat) standardized.  All of that being said, the prospect of beginning a journey and being unaware of how it will end is exciting. I gathered this data in the hopes of applying a similar algorithm to that described by Ramsey in order to find patterns in the creation myths of cultures from around the world. Could such a thing as a world mythology be theorized? Only time and a bunch of algorithms that I don’t understand yet will tell.