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Games for Research: Conflict: War and Politics

The John Johnson Collection contains many games and has recently been considerably enriched by the donation by Richard Ballam of his collection of games and pastimes. This guide explores the relevance of games to academic research.

Siege of Paris

The Siege of Paris. Strategy game showing board and pieces, around 1870

The Siege of Paris. Rules. Around 1870

The Siege of Paris. Game with rules. JJColl Games


Wars in the 19th and 20th centuries

Wars were the subject of many children's games. Publishers sought ways in which children could be involved in the events happening around them, engaging their minds through strategy games. The John Johnson Collection includes games from the sieges of Paris (left) and of Sebastopol and from the Boer War. The Ballam Collection is strong in WW1 and WW2. Krom styled itself as "A game for everyone" and was played in the trenches

Berlin Ludo, around 1916Krom (showing board). Published by T J Edwards, around 1916Krom (showing box, pieces and rules). Published by T J Edwards, around 1916

Berlin Ludo (top): Ballam Collection: 1910s (1). Krom: Ballam Collection: 1910s (25.1 and 25.2)


Subject Guide

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Julie Anne Lambert
John Johnson Collection
Bodleian Libraries
Broad Street
+44 (0)1865 277047

Political Conflict

Domestic conflict is also represented in the collections, notably here by the suffrage game Suffragetto from the Ballam Collection. This survival (thought to be unique) pitts Suffragettes against Policemen. Ballam Collection Games  1910s (31.1),( 31.2)

Suffragetto board, around 1917 showing board and game pieces