At Play

At Play

An exhibition of whimsical items from the PPL Special Collections.

In tandem with the real-world, physical exhibition, we invite you to experience this online mini-exhibition.

But it’s an exhibition with a twist: not only can you view images of items from the exhibition, you can recreate those items for your own use. See images and get instructions for creating replicas of five items from the exhibition, ranging in date as far back as the 17th century!

Make a chess set from the 18th century. Chess board and pieces from the Dictionnaire de jeux.

Perform a parlor song from 1885 - cover of "You’ll Never Miss Your Mother ‘Till She’s Gone” composed by Harry Birch.

Create pieces and reenact the story of Petit Poucet (known in English as Hop o’ My Thumb).

This online companion to the Providence Public Library Special Collections “At Play” exhibition is intended not only to give you a chance to see images from the exhibition, but also to bring those items into your own home by creating reproductions of games and entertainment from centuries past.

The site includes image files and instructions for recreating five entertaining objects from bygone eras: A selection of 18th-century French game boards and and a chess set, a 19th-century peep show, sheet music, and fairy-tale action figures.

The physical exhibition, on display during February 2012, showcased the original items (many of which were taken from the terrific Wetmore Collection).


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