If you were wondering where you could will your collection…

Scott B of OSFMapa (the old school fantasy miniatures APA) brought this to me attention:

Duke University has just opened up a large collection of role-playing games and miniatures.  As a ‘special collection’ it is presumably non-circulating but open to research.  It looks like they got quite the haul.  An inventory of the collection’s contents is here.  The same donors gave the library their collections of comics and fanzines. Note the description of the  collections in linear feet … that is how many feet of shelves it takes to house them. Almost 300 feet of comics! 12 feet of ‘zines! and 350 feet of RPG stuff!!!

And yet these collections are hardly complete.  I did not notice the OD&D LBBs in the inventory, for example.


Published in: on December 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I believe this might be a reference to the LBB’s:
    Box BG 66
    D02340908Q: Dungeons & Dragons. Published by TSR, Inc., 1974-1979.

    Based on nothing but the date.

    • Good catch!

      I also found some pics of their opening event, and there is the white box!


      The assistant curator also wrote, in response to my questiosn:

      At this point, we are not actively seeking additional donations of RPG material. This is partly because (believe it or not) Edwin and Terry Murray still have materials to add to their own collection, and we would not want to duplicate those efforts. Of course we would always prefer to receive offers of interesting material rather than discouraging such offers, but we are unlikely to accept most unless they are particularly unique or key pieces not in the collection. (I love the small series of campaign records and other play-generated documents in the Murray RPG collection, for instance, and would consider additional collections if they added significant research value in this field.)

  2. Thanks for the fantastic links! I poured over the finding aid and shared your post w my archivist gf.

    And yes, I’ve lost sleep wondering where my miniatures will end up when I die. In fact, having someone to will the figs to is one of the only items in the “pro” column of my do I want kids debate. 😛

    But I worry even having a gamer child isn’t really an ideal solution. Miniatures are so fragile and at the whim of the elements, and you can’t expect things to be passed down and cared for–and moreover kept together as a collection–beyond the first generation.

    So I think a museum or archive is the way to go. Seeing the finding aid and pics from the event really hits home that donating the collection can be the right move and end up for the best.

    Oh, and this point also made me wonder what kind of awesome collections of painted D&D miniatures could be out there being cared for behind lock and key but never having been photographed. It’s long struck me as bizarre how few substantial collections of painted D&D figs of any vintage are shown on the web today. As I’ve mentioned before yours is one of the few I’ve found. Have you wondered about this as well?

    • Yes, I have wondered on occasion what will become of my minis. They seem like a bit of a white elephant to any non-gamer (they take up a lot of space if you’re not going to use them for anything), but I put so much time and effort into painting them… At least they have some collectors value though. I also have thousands of plastic 1/72 historicals that I have painstakingly converted and painted and which will probably end up in a dumpster when I’m gone. 😦

      I don’t know why you don’t see more collections online. I think some of the hardcore minis collectors keep to forums and closed discussion lists; also the hassle of photographing minis might be an issue. Maybe security too? I read occasionally about thefts and burglaries, so that could be an issue. Maybe some people are embarrassed that their minis don’t meet to modern standards of painting too? That keeps me from posting pics of some of my stuff, which was awesome for an 12 year old in 1984 but pretty awful to look at now. 🙂

      I’ve thought about donating the plastics to a gaming club, but don’t know of any in the area and worry that ‘freebies’ will be treated as ‘worthless’ and abused/neglected. It would be great if someone could fund a museum. If I ever win the lottery….not that I play the lottery.

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