Collections of Games held by Local Museums & Smaller Public Institutions

Games Research Database


Game Collections

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Here's a list of interesting collections of games held by local museums and smaller public institutions.

The Edinburgh Museum of Childhood Has a repository of games. A few are on display and most are in archive boxes in store. We have looked briefly at most of these and have listed the ones seen as Examples in GARD.
Norfolk Museums Service (Norwich) Houses a good collection of games, puzzles and educational toys, many of which are described in the catalogue Toy With The Idea published in 1980. The website has an image database.
Toronto Public Library, The Osborne Collection Includes a good collection of table games and puzzles for children some exhibited and catalogued in 1997 under the title “Ingenious Contrivances” by Jill Shefrin.
Elliott Avedon Museum, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It's archive of games includes “the world’s largest collection of Crokinole boards”. Several online exhibits including useful archived papers on line which include several of Stewart Culin’s scarce publications,
The Cotsen Collection, Princeton University Eighteenth and nineteenth century British games form part of the Cotsen Collection of Children’s Literature at Princeton University. A catalogue is being prepared by the Librarians.
The Parker Collection of Games, Birmingham Central Library Cherie Gladstone, Birmingham Librarian sent this update October 2011: Current status is 100 plus games are catalogued but catalogue is not yet publicly available.
National Trust Collection at Sudbury Hall  
Worthing Museum  
Gakugei University, Japan Over 100 images of Sugoroku
Sebina OPAC Istituto per i beni artistici, culturali e naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna. Medium (100k) quality saveable images of many goose-type games principally in the Biblioteca Classense, Ravenna Search on gioco in the titolo field (489 entries returned as at June 2008) then click each page for oggetti digitali (about half had been digitised in June 2008)
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia

Search on ‘board game’. Moderate quality images, not legible. Several modern games. Some rare Australian material, e.g Race to the Gold Diggings (page also lists ‘games’ within ‘toys’):



If you know of other significant public game collections that we should include, please contact us to let us know.