Childhood & Youth Collection

Knucklebones (1950s)

Image: Knucklebones (1950s)

Source: Museum Victoria

Childhood is common to all humans, but with all the individuality that this brings. The Childhood and Youth Collection contains objects made by children, which reflect their world views, and collections about children and childhood. It also encompasses photographs, documents and audiovisual material, as well as recording material culture and intangibles such as play lore, experiences and ideas.

The collection was begun in the 1980s, and in 2009 comprised around 2237 objects, including games, dolls, toys, school material, clothing and costumes, domestic items, and information on child-related organisations and issues.

A significant component of the collection is the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC), acquired in 1999. This comprises over 10,000 card files listing children's games, rhymes, riddles, jokes and superstitions, from the 1940s to the present.  The collection contains 500 photographs; extensive video and audio collection; over 300 play artefacts; research files and fieldwork files.

The ACFC was placed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register in 2004, which recognises collections of long-term and wide-ranging international significance.

Other significant items:

  • The Le Forgeron Marionette Theatre collection - a rare surviving example of the travelling marionette/puppet troupes that regularly toured throughout Australia until the 1960s.
  • Sterne Doll Company Collection, including Gerry Gee puppet and paraphernalia, and doll-making materials and equipment.
  • The Panaroos Playthings Doll and Toy Museum Collection, featuring items made by Australian companies during the 1930s-1950s.

Items per page: 10 50 (showing 11 - 20) 1470 items

  • Sock - Tartan, Scottish Dancing Costume, Lorna McDonald, circa 1917 Object

    Sock - Tartan, Scottish Dancing Costume, Lorna McDonald, circa 1917

    Woollen tartan sock, part of a traditional Scottish Highland's costume worn by Lorna McDonald for dance performances in Nullawil and Wycheproof in northern Victoria around 1917. This in ...

    Images: 1
  • Child's Costume - Scottish Dancing, Lorna McDonald, Victoria, circa 1917 Object

    Child's Costume - Scottish Dancing, Lorna McDonald, Victoria, circa 1917

    Traditional Scottish Highland's costume worn by Lorna McDonald for dance performances in Nullawil and Wycheproof in northern Victoria around 1917. This included a World War I fundraisng ...

    Images: 3
  • National Doll - Brazilian, 1959 Object

    National Doll - Brazilian, 1959

    National doll produced to represent a Brazilian woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1960 by a friend of her mother's who purchased the doll in 1959; she owned a coffee plantation i ...

    Images: 2
  • National Doll - Austrian, Church Clothing, circa 1950s Object

    National Doll - Austrian, Church Clothing, circa 1950s

    National doll produced to represent an Austrian woman, it is one of 17 sent to Monica Gates by her Austrian Grandparents. Monica began receiving these dolls in 1957, they represent vari ...

    Images: 1
  • National Doll - Albanian, circa 1970s-1980s Object

    National Doll - Albanian, circa 1970s-1980s

    National doll produced to represent an Albanian woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1970s-1980s. In southern Albania women traditionally wore a blouse with wide cuffs, an embroider ...

    Images: 1
  • National Doll - Burmese, circa 1970s-1980s Object

    National Doll - Burmese, circa 1970s-1980s

    National doll produced to represent a Burmese woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1970s-1980s. Renamed Myanmar in 1989, Burma has over 135 ethnic groups each with their own customs ...

    Images: 3
  • National Doll - Bolivian, circa 1960s Object

    National Doll - Bolivian, circa 1960s

    National doll produced to represent a Bolivian woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1960s by friends or family who had visited South America. Bolivian culture consists of a mixture ...

    Images: 1
  • National Doll - Cuban, circa 1959 Object

    National Doll - Cuban, circa 1959

    National doll produced to represent a Cuban woman, it was sent to Monica Gates in 1959 by friends or family who had visited South America. Colonised by the Spanish in the 16th Century, ...

    Images: 3
  • National Doll - Canadian, Indigenous, circa 1970s-1980s Object

    National Doll - Canadian, Indigenous, circa 1970s-1980s

    National doll produed to represent a Canadian Indigenous or First Nations woman, which was given to Monica Gates, circa 1970s-1980s. The 2006 Canadian census recorded 1,172,790 Indigeno ...

    Images: 1
  • National Doll - Chilean, circa 1962 Object

    National Doll - Chilean, circa 1962

    National doll produced to represent a Chilean man, which was sent to Monica Gates circa 1962 by friends or family who had visited South America. The doll is dressed in the clothing trad ...

    Images: 1
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