Oxford Digital Library

Writing Blanks, Board Games and other Educational Games of the 18th and 19th centuries from the John Johnson and Harding Collections
Bodleian Library (John Johnson Collection)

Since the acquisition of the Opie Collection, the Bodleian has become a centre for studies in juvenilia; this has led to increased interest in the games in the John Johnson Collection, with concomitant preservation and handling problems. Many of these games are housed in drawers, others in large folders. Because of their size they are vulnerable. They are also rare. The aim of the project is to digitise a large proportion of this material, and to make it available to the international research community both through the John Johnson Collection online catalogue and through the ODL website.

All 18th and 19th century board games in the John Johnson Collection (mostly single sheets) and all Educational writing blanks (also known as school pieces) from the Johnson, Opie and Harding Collections will be digitised, together with other games of the same period, selected for their educational content, from both the John Johnson and Opie Collections (Comic puzzles and scraps, models and paper dolls have not been included.)

The study of games and their role in the education of children is itself a popular research topic, but the cataloguing and digitisation of this material would also facilitate research into printers, publishers and sellers of games, and into popular iconography and representation (e.g. of religious subjects, royalty, battles, of children themselves, etc).

Subjects represented in the games and writing blanks include: Arithmetic, Art, Astronomy, Geography, History, Literature, Spelling, and Religion.

Link to the online collection



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