The Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack the Giant-Killer Project
University of Southern Mississippi

Version 1.1, October 2005 (Version 1.0, May 1997)

Welcome to the Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant-Killer Project, a text and image archive containing several English versions of the fairy tale. The Jacks presented here represent some of the more common varieties of the tale from the English-speaking world in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. The materials were drawn from the de Grummond Children's Literature Research Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. Special thanks are due to Dee Jones, former curator of the collection, for her assistance.

Begin viewing texts and images or images only now. For additional information about this archive, please read the remainder of this page.

The format follows that of the Cinderella Project and the Little Red Riding Hood Project, with a number of enhancements suggested by users. Diplomatic transcripts and HTML coding were prepared by a group of graduate students as part of the requirements for a course in Bibliography and Methods of Research taught by Michael N. Salda in the Department of English. The transcripts attempt to represent accurately all textual matter, including typographical errors, of each story. Line breaks have been retained, though these occasionally create an odd effect where the text originally wrapped around an illustration in the original. We have not transcribed extratextual matter such as captions appearing within illustrations, publishers' announcements, advertisements for other products appearing within the texts themselves, page headings, half-titles, and so on. Those interested in more than just the text proper of these Jacks will want to examine the images for a better sense of the material aspects of each book.

Links to images of the pages are marked "[PAGE]". It should be noted that the links have been inserted wherever page breaks exist in the original; thus, at times a link falls in the middle of a word. Blank pages have been included, though following a link to a blank page will return only a small image telling you that the page is blank.

This year we also have three unusual items for educators and parents. The first is an uncut 16-page penny book --a single sheet printed on both sides that, when properly folded and cut, makes a book. We chose to create only two "[PAGE]" links for this item--one for each side of the sheet--so that if you print both pages and paste them back-to-back, you can then fold and cut the pages to make your own penny book. The second oddity is a version of the story that uses the hero's journeys up the beanstalk to explain how books were made in the early nineteenth century. The last item is a boardgame from circa 1860 based on Jack and the Beanstalk. We have reproduced the story that came with the game, instructions, game pieces, and the board itself--twice, once in color but slightly cropped, and again in black and white but showing the entire board. If you make use of these in the classroom or in other creative ways, please let us know.

Send comments on the project to

We welcome suggestions and will make other texts available if there is sufficient demand.

These transcriptions and images are made available online free of charge for academic and private, non-commercial use, the only requirement being that you mention the title, "The Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant-Killer Project," the editor, Michael N. Salda, the location of the resources, the de Grummond Children's Literature Research Collection, University of Southern Mississippi, and the URL of the homepage,, in any print or electronic medium that makes use of these materials.