How does a fairy tale get into a book?
GRIMMWELT Kassel At GRIMMWELT Kassel, opened in 2015, visitors can follow the traces of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the famous fairy-tale collectors and linguists. Valuable originals –for example, first editions of their “Children’s and Household Tales” – are on show in the exhibition’s treasure chamber. Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm’s personal working copies with their handwritten notes dating from 1812-1815 were declared to be “Memory of the World” documents by UNESCO - in 2005. Nothing else within the demonstrably diverse work of the Brothers Grimm has given rise to such worldwide enthusiasm, propagation and artistic, literary and media response as their fairy tale collection.. With their “Children’s and Household Tales”, the Brothers Grimm created a collection of fairy tales that is famous throughout the world today. These stories are well-known on all continents, and there are tales in many cultures that are similarly magical and enchanting which are also passed on from generation to generation. “Our language is also our history”, Jacob Grimm once said. Like his brother Wilhelm, he was a linguistic researcher and spent time exploring the development and cultural contexts of language. The exhibition is structured like a glossary. Definitions from the “German Dictionary” show visitors the way. A total of 25 topic areas can thus be explored from A to Z. Interactive exhibition formats and historical evidence make GRIMMWELT a place of active learning and discovery. Welcome to the world of the Brothers Grimm! 5th & 15th anniversary In 2020 GRIMMWELT Kassel celebrated its 5th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the declaration of the “Children’s and Household Tales” to be “Memory of the World” by the UNESCO. To commemorate this, GRIMMWELT developed an animated film with the Kassel based artist Katrin Nicklas in order to present the world heritage on exhibition at the museum, to a broader public. For the scientific research, the working copies of the Brothers Grimm have an enormous importance. They represent the development of the fairy tales from their original version to the version we all know and read today. In these personal, hand edited working copies of the books, In these books called “hand copies”, a broad margin next to the text allowed Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to make copious handwritten notes about their sources, to refer to other books and to put in suggestions for revision. They also occasionally mentioned the name of the person who had recited the fairy tale to them. This sometimes complex evolution of a fairy tale and its changes over decades becomes visible through those personal working copies. The hand copies show us how the stories that had been collected were turned into books. Thus, the “Children's and Household Tales” by the Brothers Grimm are the first pure fairy tale collection in the world that was scientifically edited. For this reason, these hand edited working copies were included in the UNESCO World Documentary Heritage in 2005 – thus becoming part of the "Memory of the World". This makes them unique in the world – a documentary testimony of exceptional value. Thanks to the Brothers Grimm, we still know the fairy tales today! Animated film The animated film answers the question “How does a fairy tale get into a book?” in an easy to understand and entertaining way. The complex topic of the transformation of an oral history into literature is presented through catchy images and a clear and simple storyline. Thus, the meaning of the documentary heritage becomes visible and understandable for a broad public. Presented on the website of GRIMMWELT Kassel and via Facebook and Instagram the animated film is available for a vast audience. The 200-year-old fairy tale collection of the Brothers Grimm and the tradition of fairy tale telling itself are transferred into a contemporary media and pictorial language.

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