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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

The Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection at Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

The Jerry Slocum Collection is the world’s largest assemblage of mechanical puzzles, housed at the Lilly Library on the Bloomington Campus of Indiana University. The collection comprises over 30,000 puzzles and 4,000 puzzle-related books spanning many centuries and originating from across five continents.

The defining characteristics of mechanical puzzles are that they are hand-held and must be manipulated to achieve a pre-determined goal – the Rubik’s Cube is one of the most popular and iconic of these.

Visitors to the Lilly Library can view approximately 400 of the collection’s puzzles. The library also has an online database of the collection available for users to search, and view images. Searches can be filtered by keyword, date, designer, make, or a puzzle classification scheme developed by Slocum.

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Plan your next vacation to include a visit to a play-related store, museum, or private collection.