One of my ongoing processing projects for the past year was to arrange and describe the Edwin and Terry Murray Collection of Role-Playing Games, a vast collection with thousands of books, boxed games, miniature pieces, card sets, magazines — all relating to the world of RPGs. Most of these items received individual attention. For example, each volume in the collection has been described at an item level, including its title, publisher, and year, to better help our patrons browse across the various game worlds and decades of RPG publishing. Users can download a spreadsheet from the finding aid and search and sort the materials to their heart’s content. Since these materials are all stored offsite, I also included each box or volume’s barcode to speed the recall of these materials to the reading room.
One of the best parts of working with RPGs was the fact that they contain such colorful and imaginative artwork. Even if I didn’t have any interest in playing the game, the covers of the many volumes or boxes easily grabbed my attention. Some of the highlights? For me, the movie-based games were always fun to find.
I also enjoyed learning more about the many, many variants and knock-offs of Dungeons and Dragons — why reinvent the wheel when you can just change the words around a bit? But the funniest, in my opinion, were the games that clearly tried to reach new audiences — like these two games aimed at people who liked bunnies.
You may remember our blog posts about the Rubenstein Game Night, celebrating the opening of the collection last winter. Since then, we received another very large addition, and we needed to work closely with our Conservation Department to figure out how to house the hundreds of hand-painted figurines and miniatures that arrived with the collection. I think they had as much fun as I did down in the lab. Check out this post from Preservation Underground to learn more about stabilizing and housing the tiny dragons and other creatures that make up the Miniatures, Props, and Pieces Series. And, be sure to view the photo essay on Flickr for detailed shots of the pretty and gruesome monsters in the collection.
Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Accessioning Associate in the Technical Services Dept.
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