Dragonbase (Preserving the Hoard): Creating a Database of Literary Dragon Descriptions and Collaborative Research

Author: Amanda Grady
Major: Environmental Studies, Biology
Approved: Spring 2019
Status: In progress

The Dragon Research Collaborative (DRC) is a group of professors, students, museums and businesses that have come together to research the origins of dragon lore around the world through the study of Carboniferous plant fossils and literature. The DRC’s existing research covers a wide range of disciplines and includes an array of scholars. A searchable database will allow current as well as outside scholars to use and potentially add to, these data. Also the database will allow new research students to see what projects have been done and help them develop a project that may interest them, whether it is something completely new or a project that adds data to one already started. My research up to this point has been to collect and catalog descriptions of dragons from literature, organizing them by physical description, locale, story-type, and narrative purpose. For this distinction project I will accomplish three goals: 1) build the Dragonbase with parameters that incorporate the existent data and plan for my additions as well as those of outside scholars that will access the database in an online framework connected to the DRC’s existing website; 2) enlarge my research beyond dragon descriptions to incorporate the plant fossil data record that has been mapped, as well as incorporating new fossil and folklore data points in parts of the world outside the United Kingdom; 3) synthesize my data collection into a report that includes a review of existent literature related to dragon folklore origin theories, geological data from regions rich in dragon lore, and a discussion of how other scholars can use this dragonbase to further their interdisciplinary research projects.