Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play

The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play is devoted to the intellectual, social, and cultural history of play. In addition to housing the personal library and papers of its preeminent namesake, the 235,000-volume research library and archives holds a full spectrum of primary and secondary sources, including scholarly works, professional journals, other periodicals, trade catalogs, children’s books, comic books, manuscripts, personal papers, business records, and more.

Named for America’s Foremost Play Scholar

Brian Sutton-Smith (1924–2015) was one of the foremost play scholars of the last 100 years. His The Ambiguity of Play (1997) stands alongside Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens (1938) and Roger Caillois’s Man, Play and Games (1961) as a touchstone of play theory. For more than half a century, in more than 350 books and articles, Sutton-Smith led or synthesized all the major advances in play studies. His collected works, papers, and personal library are key elements of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and they symbolize the importance of its holdings.

Brian Sutton-Smith

See Sutton-Smith’s 2008 autobiographical “Play Theory: A Personal Journey and New Thoughts,” as published in the American Journal of Play.

Library Hours

Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Explore Library and Archival Materials

Library Catalog

Explore periodicals, books, and other holdings from The Strong’s research library.

Archives Catalog

Search design documents, personal papers, and other materials archival.

Digital Collections

Search digitized trade catalogs, oral histories, and other collections.

The Sid Sackson Portal

Dive into 35 years of diaries created by legendary game designer Sid Sackson.