Monday 12 March 2012

GARD - The GAmes Research Database

GARD (the GAmes Research Database) is an invaluable resource, compiled by game collectors and experts who are aiming to create a comprehensive listing of board games and other old games in their own and other collections (both public and private).  The database can be browsed by maker and searched in various ways: examples, books, makers, gamenames (titles), adverts (in progress), registrations, and across a combination of these (including by date) in Scan tables. Thumbnails, which accompany nearly all the games, can be expanded by clicking the View button to the left of the table.This also reveals the full metadata.

I had the pleasure of meeting the creators of GARD and other games and playing cards experts, who came to the Bodleian in 2010, viewed all the games in the John Johnson Collection and generously shared their expertise. They have added our holdings to GARD, with references to the exisitng digital images available through the Oxford Digital Library. Through the trademark and design register and copyright registrations (National Archives), they were usually able to assign dates to the games.

The site includes useful links and overviews of collections, both public and private.

The GARD site is very much work in progress and will eventually include articles on games, adverts for games and attempts to match rules to games without them (and vice versa).

There is a lot of very useful material in this site, achieved for the benefit of scholarship through painstaking research. Some of the site is restricted to members of GARD and others by invitation, but much is public and well worth exploring


  1. very interesting. I will have to let a friend know about this blog as he has been a collector of board games for a long time.
    Have a wonderful day..

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