Board Games at the Victoria and Albert Museum Research Paper by Peter Pen

Board Games at the Victoria and Albert Museum
A look at some of the more fascinating board games displayed at this London museum.
# 53605 | 4,926 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2004
Published on Nov 08, 2004 in History (British)

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In 1974, Sir Roy Strong, the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum at the time, felt there were enough significant objects relating to the history of childhood within the Victoria and Albert Museum to devote an entirely separate museum to this subject. Since then, the V&A childhood collection has been housed at Bethnal Green and has developed and grown in status to become a collection of national and international significance. Using the documentation available in the Museum of Childhood archives, the author of this paper has produced a comprehensive report on the most popular and influential games displayed at the museum. The paper shows that games were not just a leisure activity arbitrarily serving as a means of passing time. Many times, they are used to teach morals, histories, and religions, and are always a reflection of the culture that surrounds them.

From the Paper:

"Because of the gambling character inherent in many games played with a normal deck of cards, such as Poker or Bridge, children's card games were often specifically designed to look different by the addition of pictures or words. In Europe, card games have been documented since about 1370. Card games for children are often fast-moving, enjoyable and easy to learn. Most could be played with a standard deck as well, but often cards for children have an educational theme, with designs based on almost any subject, from fairy tales to maths."

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Board Games at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2004, November 08) Retrieved May 28, 2022, from

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"Board Games at the Victoria and Albert Museum" 08 November 2004. Web. 28 May. 2022. <>