The museum is closed to the public today, Friday, September 19, in preparation for the Play Ball gala

Collections

The Strong owns and cares for the world’s most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, other electronic games, books, documents, and other historical materials related to play. This unprecedented assemblage offers a unique interpretive and educational window into the critical role of play in human physical, social, and intellectual development and the ways in which play reflects cultural history.

Recent AcquisitionsWilliams collection

Recent acquisitions to The Strong’s collections include the Anne D. Williams Jigsaw Puzzle Collection, 1766–2014, an assemblage of more than 7,000 puzzles representing virtually every American manufacturer—and many from other countries—amassed by the nation's foremost expert on jigsaw puzzles and jigsaw history; the Atari Coin-op Divisions Collection, 1972–1999, a massive collection chronicling the development and production of virtually every Atari coin-operated game over that time period; and a donation of research notes, presentations, scholarly articles, books, and scores of other works in English and Italian on topics such as childhood development, early childhood education, and folklore from renowned early childhood educator Lella Gandini, the United States Liaison for the Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Key Holdings

The Strong holds more than 400,000 historical objects related to play. These provide the foundation for The Strong’s mission to explore play and the ways in which it encourages learning, creativity, and discovery and illuminates cultural history. The museum’s holdings are organized according to the following major categories, but some individual groupings of collections relate to more than one category and appear here according to their greatest content association.

Access to Collections

Thousands of artifacts from The Strong’s collections are on view in museum exhibits. Tens of thousands of objects are accessible through the museum’s rapidly growing online collections database. Further, the online catalog of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play provides a window in The Strong’s vast collection of books and trade publications. On-site access to the full museum collection is available to scholars, students, collectors, and other researchers by appointment.

Donate to Collections

The Strong welcomes donations that advance the museum’s mission to collect, preserve, exhibit, and research objects, publications, personal papers, business records, advertising and other promotional materials, photographs, and other items that illustrate and document the role of play in learning and human development and the ways in which it illuminates cultural history, particularly but not exclusively, in America.