Search the collections
Australian Children's Folklore Collection
Image: String Game
Source: Museum Victoria
The Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC) is one of the largest and most significant archives of its kind in the world, reflecting Australia's cultural and regional diversity. It is the first Museum Victoria collection and one of the first collections in Australia to have been recognized through listing on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register. It documents children's verbal folkloric traditions from the 1870s to the present. It includes more than 10,000 card files and over 1,000 pages of letters recording children's games, rhymes, riddles, jokes, superstitions, taunts and chants; over 300 traditional and homemade play artefacts; photographs and audiovisual material; and field and research studies.
The ACFC germinated with research in the 1970s and 1980s by Dr June Factor (then an academic at the Institute of Early Childhood Development) and Dr Gwenda Davey. Armed with pad and pencil, tape recorder and camera, they conducted field research to document Australian children's play. As their research progressed they gradually acquired other material, both contemporary and historic. The Australian Children's Folklore Collection was formally established in 1979. Dr Factor was invited to join the founding members of the Australian Centre at The University of Melbourne in May 1989 as a Senior Research Fellow. She brought the Australian Children's Folklore Collection with her to the Centre, and agreed to have it housed for a period in the University of Melbourne Archives. In 1999 she donated the Collection to Museum Victoria.
A unique aspect of the ACFC is the Australian archive of pioneering American scholar, educator and ethnographer Dr Dorothy Howard. From 1954 to 1955, Howard travelled across Australia, collecting and documenting children's games and verbal lore in cities, country towns and small rural communities. It was the first large-scale attempt to collect, analyse and discuss our children's lore and language, and it laid the foundations for research into children's folklore in this country.
The Australian Children's Folklore Collection brings to Museum Victoria a direct and personal voice from children at play.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 11 - 20) 151 items
Ten year Gold Pass admitting the holder, Dr June Factor, and up to five guests free entry to Museum Victoria's three venues: Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks Museum and Immigration Museum ...Images: 2
No Image Available
Card index, audio cassettes, manual and index folder from the Multicultural Folklore for Children project, which consists of field recordings of adults singing and reciting folklore for ...Images: 0
Alternative Name(s): Finger Top In 1962-63, during sabbatical leave, American folklorist Dr Dorothy Howard undertook research in Tonala, a pottery village in Mexico. She had for many y ...Images: 1
Alternative Name(s): Peg Top In 1962-63, during sabbatical leave, American folklorist Dr Dorothy Howard undertook research in Tonala, a pottery village in Mexico. She had for many year ...Images: 2
Alternative Name(s): Bush Child's Doll Wooden doll made by a Liberian man for his daughter some time between1950 and 1959. The little girl carried the doll in a rag sling on her back ( ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph depicting a group of five women, including Dr Dorothy Howard in sunglasses, standing by the barrier at the ferry landing on the Clarence River above Grafton, ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph taken in Brisbane, Queensland, on 2 October 1954. Shows a white picket fence with a sign post reading 'Humpybong State School'. School buildings are visible i ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph depicting Dr Dorothy Howard standing in a garden, surrounded by flowering plants. Taken at Toowoomba, Queensland, October 3 1954. Photograph of American folk ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph depicting Dr Dorothy Howard seated outdoors at a wooden picnic table, at Sublime Point, New South Wales on October 23 1954. Photograph of American folklorist ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph depicting a close-up of Dr Dorothy Howard holding a koala. Taken at the Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, in 1954. Photograph of American folklorist Dr Dorothy Howa ...Images: 1