The Strong® is a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. It carries out this mission through five programmatic arms called “Play Partners.” These are the National Museum of Play, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and the American Journal of Play.
Independent and not-for-profit, The Strong is situated in Rochester, New York, where it houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. These enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.
Read “The Why, How, and What of a Museum of Play: An Interview with George Rollie Adams” to learn why and how The Strong evolved into the first museum in the world devoted solely to the role of play in learning and human development and the ways in which play illuminates cultural history.
The Strong Play Partners
Each Strong Play Partner provides a unique framework through which The Strong develops, organizes, and delivers educational services.
National Museum of Play
The National Museum of Play is recognized as one of America’s leading history museums as well as one of the nation’s most engaging museums for families and children. In addition to housing world-class collections, the museum offers 150,000 square feet of dynamic, hands-on exhibits and provides outstanding amenities and guest services. Learn more
International Center for the History of Electronic Games
The International Center for the History of Electronic Games collects, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of geography and culture. Learn more
National Toy Hall of Fame
The National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have demonstrated popularity over multiple generations and thereby gained national significance in the world of play and imagination. Each year the hall inducts additional honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of the classic icons of play. Learn more
Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play
The 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, this Strong Play Partner 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. Learn more
American Journal of Play
The American Journal of Play is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary periodical that serves as a forum for discussing the history, science, and culture of play. The Journal includes articles, interviews, and book reviews written for a broad readership of educators, scholars, designers, and others. Learn more
Margaret Woodbury Strong
The Strong’s founder, Margaret Woodbury Strong (1897–1969), loved to play. She played at travel, archery, golf, bowling, gardening, flower arranging, and collecting. She especially loved collecting dolls, toys, and other artifacts related to play. In 1968, she founded The Strong, then known as the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum of Fascination, to share her collections in ways she hoped would fascinate, educate, and entertain. Today the collections she amassed over several decades of energetic pursuit form the foundation for the mission and educational activities of The Strong and its five Play Partners. Learn more
The Strong collects and preserves artifacts, documents, and other materials that illuminate the meaning and importance of play. The hundreds of thousands of objects in The Strong’s collections comprise the world’s most comprehensive assemblage of toys, games, dolls, electronic games, and other items related to play. Tens of thousands are on view in the galleries of The Strong’s National Museum of Play, and thousands more are accessible online.