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Michigan State University

Artifacts in Special Collections: Toys and games

Technically, everything in Special Collections is an artifact. But here are some of the more unusual ones!

USING SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Special Collections is the library's department for rare, valuable, and fragile materials.

Materials from this department do not check out, but we welcome you in the Special Collections Reading Room: Main Library, basement, East Wing.

Our hours are Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm; and Sunday 1-5 pm during Fall and Spring semester. Sunday hours are cancelled during break periods.

Cartoon character collectibles

Cartoon character collectibles

We have 14 boxes of toys, t-shirts, tableware, toothbrushes (and other products too numerous to name) featuring cartoon characters from Daffy Duck to Spiderman to Lisa Simpson.

Paper dolls

Dolly Dingle paper doll book cover

Use the MSU library catalog advanced search.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • Subject search paper dolls

Beatrix Potter painting books

Tom Kitten's Painting Book cover

Use the MSU library catalog advanced search.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • keyword search beatrix potter painting books

Jigsaw puzzles

We have about three dozen children's jigsaw puzzles, ranging from the 1950s to the 1990s, featuring a number of cartoon characters and superheroes.

Use the MSU library catalog advanced search.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • keyword search jigsaw puzzle

Pop-up books

Ruckus Rodeo pop-up book

Special Collections has about 75 pop-up books, dating from the 1890s to the present.

Most are from the 1970s to the present and feature cartoon characters and superheroes. A few are more sophisticated, such as Red Grooms' Ruckus Rodeo (above), Taller Leñateros' Bolom Chon, and Gaudi Pop-ups by Courtney Watson McCarthy.

Use the MSU library catalog advanced search.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • keyword search pop-up

American Girl doll "Addy"

American Girls doll Addy

"American Girls" dolls were introduced in 1986 and are still very popular. Special Collections has Addy, the first African American character in the line.

Iraqi Mosted Wanted Playing Cards

Games can be used as teaching tools. During the Iraq War (2003-2011) the U.S. military produced card decks with images of Iraqi military officers, politicians, and government officials who were considered war criminals.

By using the decks for card games during their downtime, American soldiers would learn the faces of the "most wanted" so they could recognize and capture them if an opportunity arose.

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