University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

RBML Historical Games

The RBML Historical Games collection provides an eclectic look into board and card games from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Primarily targeted towards high- and middle-class families, they were used as conversation pieces, friendly fun, and to instigate socially acceptable interactions between young men and women. However, these games were about much more than play. They instilled ideas about religion, morality, history, language and frequently underlined the proper ways to navigate and contribute to society. This collection features many games of chance, a nod to the structured but random happenings of life.