Prof. Francis James Child

The First Harvard English Professor

Francis James Child, a professor of rhetoric and oratory, was named the first Professor of English at Harvard University in 1876. He is most known for his work in publishing collections of ballads. His scholarship greatly contributed to the study of English language folk music. 

Read his biography in the American Nation Biography Online.

Read an article written about Child for The Atlantic Monthly by his friend, Professor George Lyman Kittredge, in 1896.

Many of Child's personal papers are preserved in Harvard's Houghton Library

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