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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1922-1922.2

Francis James Child papers


Student and professional papers of Harvard University English professor, Francis J. Child.


  • Creation: 1842-1925

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


1.5 linear feet (4 boxes)

Correspondence of Francis J. Child, together with personal account books from his student years at Harvard, notebooks, journals, and commonplace books. Also includes correspondence of Child's wife, Elizabeth Ellery (Sedgwick) Child; and a daguerreotype of a group including Child and his wife.

Biographical / Historical

Child, born in Boston, Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard University in 1846. He became the Harvard Boylston professor of rhetoric, oratory, and elocution in 1851 and in 1876 became professor of English. He was known for studying, collecting, and cataloging folk ballads and compiled the authoritative work, The English and Scottish popular ballads.


Arranged into the following three series:

  1. I. bMS Am 1922: Correspondence and compositions.
  2. A. Letters to Francis James Child.
  3. B. Letters to Elizabeth Ellery (Sedgwick) Child.
  4. C. Other letters.
  5. D. Compositions.
  6. II. bMS Am 1922.1: Notebooks.
  7. III. bMS Am 1922.2: Daguerreotype.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

45M-549, 45M-584-593, 45Z-8, and 73M-94.

Manuscripts presented by Susan Ridley Sedgwick (Child) Scoggin, received: 1945 December.

Processing Information

In 2020-2021, as part of a conscious and inclusive re-description effort, entries were updated to include a woman’s first name when identified.

Susan Ridley Sedgwick (Child) Scoggin previously listed as Mrs. Gilbert Campbell Scoggin.

Link to catalog
Child, Francis James, 1825-1896. Francis James Child papers, 1842-1925: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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