Research

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 its preeminent namesake, the 150,000-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. Also housed here are the library and archival collections acquired through The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG). Library stacks

The Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play is a non-circulating research center, but some materials are available through interlibrary loan. Trade catalogs, documents, and other items that are irreplaceable, rare, or fragile are not available for loan.

On-site access to the library and archives

Scholars, students, collectors, and other researchers are welcome to conduct research on site. To help library and archives staff optimize access to collections, please request an appointment. Appointments may be made via an online form, by phone at 585-410-6349, or by sending an email to library@museumofplay.org Please provide a topic of research, indicate the materials desired, and any special needs.

Library and Archives hours

Tuesday–Friday: 10 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m.

Appointments are encouraged.

Online access to the library and archives

The online catalog of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play provides a window in its vast collection of books and trade publications. To inquire further about library and archives holdings or to ask a brief reference question, use the convenient online form.

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, home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, other electronic games, and play-related records, publications, and historical archives.