In mid-2007, UPS’s brown trucks hauled more than half a ton of research materials on games and puzzles from the AGPC Archives to Rochester, New York. This huge shipment contained the thousands of items in the AGPC’s donation of its Research Collection—game and puzzle company catalogs, game rules, industry periodicals, reference books, videotapes, DVDs, audio tapes, and microfilms.
The AGPC Research Collection began as a small accumulation of historical materials, found by individual members since the organization’s inception in 1985. In 1990 these became the formal AGPC Archives, under the direction of Nancy Boyea. Erica Wilson took over as Archivist from 1995 to 1996 and cataloged all the materials.
Anne Williams served as Archivist for eleven years after that and was responsible for actively seeking out catalog material from current game and puzzle companies at the annual Toy Fairs in New York City. The three Archivists’ acquisitions, together with many generous donations from AGPC members, have laid down an invaluable historical base for future collectors and scholars.
For several years the AGPC had been looking for a permanent home for these historical materials, one that would be easily accessible to anyone interested in games. That project grew more urgent when Anne retired as Archivist in May 2007, and we found that our Archives had outgrown the capacity of any individual member’s storage space.
Our association’s need for new space happily coincided with a major expansion of the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester, including its Research Library. The Strong Museum became home to the National Toy Hall of Fame a few years ago. Even before then, it had one of the top collections of toys and toy trade materials in the country. Members who attended the 1994 convention in Rochester will remember what an impressive collection of games and puzzles they showed us, both in their public exhibits and in a special tour of the storage vaults.
The AGPC Research Collection will immeasurably strengthen the Strong Museum Library’s holdings in the area of games and puzzles. Individual AGPC members have also made donations to the Strong Museum Library in the past. Among other treasures it houses the complete Sid Sackson papers and the Steve and Diane Olin collection of toy trade catalogs.
The AGPC Archives still exist, but in slimmed down form. The Archives now consist solely of our publications and of records of our group’s activities. See the AGPC Archives Price List.
Interested parties can still order copies of past publications and a few reprint catalogs, as described below. Scans of several thousand game rules are available for viewing and downloading in the Rules section of the AGPC website (for free!) or search the online Game Catalog. In addition, are about a dozen catalogs from game and puzzle companies are available online from among the over 400 game catalog copies donated by AGPC to the Strong Museum.
Photocopies of historical game and puzzle company catalogs, however, are now available only through the Strong National Museum of Play. They are no longer available from the AGPC. The Strong Museum Library is in the process of cataloging all these recent acquisitions and will be able to supply photocopies some time in 2008. Research Librarian Carol Sandler, email@example.com, can help AGPC members with specific requests.