The Strong explores play and the ways in which it encourages learning, creativity, and discovery and illuminates cultural history.
Collecting and Preserving
The Strong owns and cares for the world’s most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, other electronic games, books, documents, and other historical materials related to play. These ever-growing resources enable and support a multifaceted array of interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others interested in play.
Interpreting and Educating
The Strong develops and offers exhibitions, public programs, publications, online content (blogs, searchable collections, and other features), research opportunities, and other mission-driven experiences and services that engage, entertain, and enlighten through the exploration and interpretation of play. The Strong’s exhibitions provide a unique blend of artifacts and interactivity, and its collections provide unparalleled resources for study. Standards-based school lessons serve students from hundreds of communities in Western New York and beyond, and professional development opportunities assist pre- and in-service teachers throughout the region. The museum’s libraries, Woodbury School, and American Journal of Play widen this educational impact.
The Strong partners with dozens of community organizations to make the museum accessible to families, children, and other guests with special needs. These programs include Museum Access for Children, Foster Family Admissions, Play Therapy Access for Children with Disabilities, a Pediatric Residency Play Observation Program for physicians who work with children, and a Nurse-Family Practitioner Program for nurses who work with new parents.
Through all these activities and more, The Strong seeks to ensure that present and future generations understand the critical role of play in human physical, social, and intellectual development and the ways in which play reflects cultural history.
You’re never too big for this much fun! With 100,000 square feet of dynamic, interactive exhibit space, The Strong museum provides educational, entertaining, and unforgettable intergenerational fun.
The Strong owns and cares for the world’s most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, other electronic games, books, documents, and other historical materials related to play. This unprecedented assemblage offers a unique interpretive and educational window into the critical role of play in human physical, social, and intellectual development and the ways in which play reflects cultural history.
Recent acquisitions to The Strong’s collections include the Nutting Associates Collection, 1967–1973, an assortment of unique photographs, a company scrapbook, and company records related to the manufacturer of Computer Space, the first commercial arcade video game; the Carol Shaw Collection, 1978–2002, an array of video game packaging, printed source codes, design documents, sketches, flyers, and game commercials that illuminate Shaw’s career at Atari, Inc. and Activision and her contributions to the video game industry as the first widely recognized female game designer and programmer; and the Scott Adams Adventure International Collection, 1970–2015, an assemblage of rare games, printed source code, marketing materials, magazines, and photographs that trace Adams and his company's pioneering efforts in the early computer game industry.
The Strong holds more than 460,000 historical objects 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. The museum’s holdings are organized according to the following major categories, but some individual groupings of collections relate to more than one category and appear here according to their greatest content association.