The Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES) is a corpus established in 1984 by Brian MacWhinney and Catherine Snow to serve as a central repository for first language acquisition data. Its earliest transcripts date from the 1960s, and it now has contents (transcripts, audio, and video) in over 20 languages from 130 different corpora, all of which are publicly available worldwide. Recently, CHILDES has been made into a component of the larger corpus TalkBank, which also includes language data from aphasics, second language acquisition, conversation analysis, and classroom language learning.
During the early 1990s, as computational resources capable of easily manipulating the data volumes found in CHILDES became commonly available, there was a significant increase in the number of studies of child language acquisition that made use of it. To date, over 3000 published studies cite CHILDES.