The study examines the problems and possibilities presented by the digitization of national folklore archives and collections in the wider context of folklore archiving and digital humanities. The primary goal of the study is to present a problem-oriented and critical overview of the available digital databases containing folklore texts (WossiDiA, Sagragrunnur, ETKSpace, Danish Folklore Nexus, Nederlandse VolksverhalenBank, The Schools’ Collection, etc.), and of the analyses conducted on these using computational methods. The paper first presents a historical overview of the conceptualization that went into the creation of folklore databases (genre-centered, collector, and collection-centered approaches), followed by a discussion of the practical, technical, and theoretical aspects of digital content creation (crowdsourcing, markup languages, TEI, digital critical editions, etc.). The study then takes a look at the new digital tools and methods applied in the analysis of digitized folklore texts (text-mining, network theory methods, data visualization), and finally places databases and computational folkloristics within a larger theoretical framework.
During the corpus-building operation of the Digital Database of Hungarian Verbal Charms we tried to augment the available material by the inclusion of witness statements of witch trials conducted in early modern Bihar County and the town of Debrecen. My paper explores the kinds of dilemmas and issues we were faced with concentrating especially on generic questions of verbal charms. As regards the exploration of early modern written sources of vernacular language use the most relevant recent approaches came from historical speech act research. Therefore, in the context of the corpus building project I shall also discuss to which extends the results of historical pragmatics, historical speech act research can offer any help (and if so, what kind of help) in solving the generic problems and questions of verbal magic.