Index cards, letters and photographs collected or written by Dr Dorothy Howard.

Dr Dorothy Howard came to Australia in 1954-55 as an American Fulbright scholar to study Australian children's folklore. She travelled across Australia for 10 months collecting children's playground rhymes, games, play artefacts, etc. The original fieldwork she collected during this period is held in ACFC Series 3 and includes index cards, letters and photographs. The collection also includes earlier and later research by Dr Howard.

Part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection archive. Alternative archive name is ACFC.

Physical Description

Index cards, letters and photographs.


Historical Note: The Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC) grew from action research undertaken in the 1970s by Dr June Factor and Dr Gwenda Davey at the Institute of Early Childhood Development (now part of the Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne) and was formally established as a children's folklore archive in 1979. Its Director is Dr June Factor, a Senior Fellow of the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.

From 1989 - 1999 the Collection was housed in the University of Melbourne Archives, and in June 1999 it was donated by Dr Factor to Museum Victoria, where it became a key element in the Museum's existing Childhood Collection, which is administered by the History & Technology Department. Dr Factor and Dr Davey continue to be closely involved with the Collection.

About the Collection: The ACFC is unique, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries, reaching back to the 1870s. There is also a strong component of research material from Victoria. Work of the renowned American folklorist, Dr Dorothy Howard, including significant Australian material, is included in the Collection. The ACFC is rich in the documentation of childhood in the cultures of different immigrant groups to Australia. Its contents tell of the negotiation of difference and conformity by children, and of key issues of Australian identity, particularly over the last 30 years.

The Australian Children's Folklore Collection classifies folklore as either folklore of children, or folklore for and about children, depending on whether the main persons transmitting the lore are children or adults. Folklore of children consists largely of play lore, such as rhymes, games, taunts, jokes and riddles. Folklore for and about children consists of those traditional songs, games, finger plays, stories, proverbs and sayings that are passed on informally by adults.

Play and Folklore, a publication with both overseas and Australian subscribers, is published twice a year in conjunction with the ACFC. The archive has also produced a number of publications under the imprint: Australian Children's Folklore Publications.

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