About Collections

The Strong® owns and cares for the world’s most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, other electronic games, books, photographs, documents, and other historical materials 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.

Recent acquisitions

Recent acquisitions to The Strong’s collections include 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; the Brøderbund Software, Inc. Collection, 1979-1997 containing nearly 1,500 of the company’s games, other pieces of computer software, copies of original art, production masters, board game versions of some products, and related items, plus extensive corporate records detailing Brøderbund operations from its inception in 1979 to its eventual acquisition by The Learning Company; and the Gerald A. “Jerry” Lawson Collection that documents how pioneering African-American engineer Jerry Lawson helped revolutionize the video game industry through his design of the Fairchild Channel F, the first video game system to use interchangeable cartridges.

Learn more about The Strong’s key collections holdings.

Online collections

Thousands of The Strong’s artifacts are on exhibit in museum galleries and thousands more are accessible online, including examples of toys inducted into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame. Additional artifacts are added online regularly. Information about collections in The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play is accessible through the online catalog of the library and archives.

Research Fellowships

To promote and advance play scholarship, The Strong invites academic professionals, independent scholars, museum scholars, and advanced graduate students at the Masters or PhD level to apply for The Strong Research Fellowships and the Mary Valentine and Andrew Cosman Research Fellowships. Fellowships provide financial support for scholarly play research conducted on site at The Strong in Rochester, New York, and are awarded three times each year for periods of study ranging from one week to three months. Recipients must reside outside a 50-mile radius of The Strong and eligible research projects must benefit from access to collections held by The Strong.