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Press Release

The Strong National Museum of Play Launches “Bringing Barbie to Everyone” Project to Digitize and Share its Barbie Collections

Published April 4, 2023

April 4, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Shane Rhinewald, srhinewald@museumofplay.org,585-410-6365

ROCHESTER, NY—The Strong National Museum of Play is pleased to announce the launch of “Bringing Barbie to Everyone,” an effort to make its collection of nearly 3,000 Barbie dolls and related artifacts more accessible to collectors and enthusiasts via its Online Collections portal. The project is generously supported by Dr. Brigitt Rok-Potamkin, a clinical psychologist and fashion doll collector who has a special passion for Barbie and the role Barbie has played over the last 60 years in reflecting historical change in culture, feminism, fashion, and gender roles.

“The Strong’s Barbie collection is an important and ever-growing historical resource that showcases the history of a doll that has had major influence on pop culture and the evolution of play,” says Michelle Parnett-Dwyer, curator of dolls and toys at The Strong. “We’re grateful to Dr. Rok-Potamkin, who is a valued partner, for helping us launch this special project that will make The Strong’s online Barbie offerings even more extensive and more widely available so that we can better share Barbie’s inspiring story.”

Through “Bringing Barbie to Everyone,” The Strong will photograph, re-categorize, and tag the dolls and Barbie-related objects (clothing, accessories, etc.) in its collection so that anyone can more readily search and explore the collection digitally. Each entry will be accompanied by a detailed catalog description providing more information about the artifact, such as date of manufacture, materials, historical significance, and more.

“As a young girl, I played with Barbie for hours upon hours and received so much joy from them. I understand and value the nostalgic thrill that these dolls evoke—but also the bigger role that Barbie plays in our culture,” says Rok-Potamkin. “I’m so pleased to partner with The Strong to expand their online Barbie offerings and to continue to preserve and share Barbie’s legacy and impact with a wider audience.”

The museum’s Online Collections portal will be updated on an ongoing basis with new entries, and the project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2023. For more information on the museum’s doll and other collections, visit https://www.museumofplay.org/collections/

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 World Video Game 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.