The Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC) brings to Museum Victoria a direct and personal voice from children at play. It 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. Dorothy Howard handed her material to June Factor in several stages over a period of several years from 1979, when Dr Factor stayed with Dr Howard in New Mexico. Dr Factor subsequently visited Dr Howard several more times, with material handed over until a few years before Dr Howard died in 1996. Further boxes of Dorothy's Australian research were sourced from the Education Faculty at the University of Melbourne. 

Other material in the ACFC includes:

Field recordings of adults singing and reciting rhymes, songs, lullabies, finger plays, stories and baby plays in English, Arabic, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Serbian/Croatian, Slovenian, Spanish and Turkish.

Interviews, photographs and data collected by Heather Russell in 1984 at an inner suburban Melbourne school for the project 'Play and Friendships in a Multicultural Playground'.

Fieldwork by undergraduate and postgraduate students (1970s-1990s) from the Institute of Early Childhood Development, now part of the Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne.

Material relating to 'You're IT!'exhibition of children's traditional play in the Children's Museum, Museum of Victoria, from 1988 to 1993, including playground rhymes and games collected from visitors to the exhibition and from children at primary schools in Victoria.

Games, rhymes, recollections and descriptions of childhood play by Aboriginal adults and children living in Victoria, collected between 1991 and 1997 during the 'Aboriginal Children's Play' oral history project.

Research notes from the 'Childhood, Tradition and Change' ARC project, 2007-2010, a collaboration between University of Melbourne, Deakin University and Curtin University, with assistance from the National Library of Australia and Museum Victoria, to produce the first national account of continuity and change in Australian children's playlore since the 1950s.

The ACFC collection now comprises 13 series: 

HT  8466 Archive - ACFC Series 1, Card Files: Verbal Lore & Games, 1970-2004
HT  8467 Archive - ACFC Series 2, Folklore for Children (Multicultural), 1976-1987
HT  8468 Archive - ACFC Series 3, Dorothy Howard Collection
HT  8469 Archive - ACFC Series 4, Play & Friendships in a Multicultural Playground, 1984
HT  8470 Archive - ACFC Series 5, Student Fieldwork & Essays, 1970-1999
HT  8471 Archive - ACFC Series 6, Children's Folklore: General
HT  8472 Archive - ACFC Series 7, Collecting, Archiving & Studying Children's Folklore
HT  8473 Archive - ACFC Series 8, 'You're IT!' Collection
HT  8474 Archive - ACFC Series 10, World Play Summit
HT  8475 Archive - ACFC Series 11, Regional Collections of Games & Rhymes
HT  8476 Archive - ACFC Series 12, Exhibiting Children's Folklore
HT  8477 Archive - ACFC Series 13, Aboriginal Children's Play

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