Skip to Main Content

Children's Songs and Games: Resources in the American Folklife Center

This research guide focuses on activities such as music, narrative, and art related to children and children’s folklife as documented in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress



Patrick Mullen, photographer. Children's rhymes and games, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Ararat, Virginia. 1978. Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project collection, 1977-1981 (AFC 1982/009). Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

Established in the Library of Congress in 1976 by the American Folklife Preservation Act (Public Law 94-201), The American Folklife Center (AFC) is home to significant ethnographic collections documenting traditional cultural practices in the United States and around the world, Throughout these collections, children's voices can be heard in the form of playground ritual and games, lullabies and songs, as well as through oral history and storytelling documentation. This guide serves as a starting point to explore resources related to children's materials and representation in a variety of languages from collections spanning the globe. Collections of interest that are available online can be found on the Digital Collections page, and the guide also contains links to online resources such as podcasts or event videos that offer examples of children's traditions and cultural practices. Additional collections of note available for research in the American Folklife Center Reading Room are listed in the Searching the Collections page of this guide.  

Selections from the AFC's Online Collections