A heterogeneous sample of infants with preterm histories and infants born full term participated in a study of declarative memory and rate of encoding, as measured in an imitation task and an examining task, respectively. Here we report the comparisons of the performances of infants born very preterm (27-34 weeks gestation) and moderately preterm (35-37 weeks gestation) to infants born full term (38-41 weeks gestation) and tested at 12 months corrected age (from due date). Lower levels of recall were seen among the infants born very preterm. Rate of encoding, weeks gestation, and score on the Mental Development Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development were tested as possible sources of individual differences in recall. Rate of encoding and MDI predicted delayed ordered recall. Implications for early detection of cognitive difficulties in children with preterm histories are discussed.