Renowned Early Childhood Educator Donates Papers and Research Materials

The Strong News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

March 27, 2014

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,


Renowned Early Childhood Educator
Donates Papers and Research Materials
to The Strong Museum

ROCHESTER, New York—Lella Gandini, Italian-born author and early childhood educator best known in the United States as the leading advocate for the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, has donated to The Strong in Rochester, New York, a collection of materials that spans her career in education. The Lella Gandini Early Childhood and Children’s Folklore Collection includes research notes, presentations, scholarly articles, books that she has written, and scores of other works in English and Italian on topics such as childhood development, early childhood education, and folklore. 

Gandini began her career as an early childhood educator in the mid 1970s and collaborated early on with Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach. She serves as the U.S. Liaison for the Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach and has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Lesley College, and Smith College. Gandini is co-editor of the comprehensive Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood and has written and spoken widely in Italy and the U.S. on children’s learning environments, bedtime rituals, children’s fears, children’s clothing, nursery rhymes, parent-child-teacher relationships, folklore, and other topics.

Says Gandini, “For one who has gathered images and descriptions of the material culture of childhood while being engaged with the education of young children in the progressive schools of Northern Italy and the United States, to encounter The Strong museum with its dedication to the archives of play, has been a most fortuitous occurrence.” Gandini’s materials are housed in The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play and are available for scholars conducting research onsite at the museum.

The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education emerged after World War II in the northern Italian town that gives the approach its name. It recognizes that children learn differently and encourages teachers and students to work together to plan curriculum and create projects. This self-guided curriculum allows children to seek out knowledge by investigating what fascinates them.


About The Strong

The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. 

About the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play

The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play is a multidisciplinary research repository devoted to the intellectual, social, and cultural history of play. In addition to housing the personal library and papers of eminent play scholar Brian Sutton-Smith, the 150,000-volume research library and archives holds a full spectrum of primary and secondary resources, including scholarly works, popular and children’s books, professional journals, other periodicals, trade catalogs, comics, manuscripts, game design materials, personal papers, and business records.