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Linda A. Hughes papers

 Collection — Box: 1-3
Identifier: 113.1893
The Linda A. Hughes papers are a collection of manuscripts, research notes, data, interviews, correspondence, published papers, and her work while in her Masters and PhD programs. The collection also includes photo slides, unpublished papers, presentation materials, and research collaborations with Brian Sutton-Smith. Hughes’s research looked at the game of foursquare and how children play the game, as well as gender differences and behaviors of players. Linda Hughes’s materials deciphered the “unofficial” rules created by children playing the game. The bulk of materials in this collection are dated between 1980 and 1989.

The Linda A. Hughes papers have been arranged into five series. Series IV has been divided into a sub-series. This collection is housed in three archival document boxes.


  • 1976 - 2005
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1989

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, she has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


1 Linear Feet


The Linda A. Hughes papers contain manuscripts, research materials, presentation materials, observations, interviews, correspondence and notes. The materials range from Hughes’s time in graduate school through her professional career. The bulk of the materials in this collection are dated between 1980 and 1989.

Biographical Note

Linda A. Hughes is an American play scholar who focused her research on children’s games, notably the game of foursquare. Hughes studied under and later worked alongside Brian Sutton-Smith.

Hughes received her Bachelor’s degree in German and Education in 1968 from C. W. Post College in Greenvale, New York. For her Master’s thesis at Cooperstown, Hughes concentrated on play and games, observing and interviewing children for her “Cooperstown Study;” she received her Master’s degree in American Folk Culture in 1976. Hughes then continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was accepted into the PhD program under the tutelage of Dr. Brian Sutton-Smith. There she continued to research children’s behavior, gaming, gender, and relationships. In 1983, she received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, with a dissertation titled Beyond the Rules of the Game: Girls’ Gaming at a Friends’ School.

Sutton-Smith and Hughes presented together at conferences and collaborated on research and articles. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Hughes attended major educational conferences all over the United States to present her work on children’s gaming and play. She held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, the University of Delaware, and Millersville University, before developing the Delaware Alternative Routes to Certification Program at the University of Delaware. Hughes continues to be involved in teacher education and various professional organizations.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Published papers, 1983-2005

Series II: Conference presentations, 1977-1996

Series III: Unpublished papers, 1979-1998

Series IV: Children’s game research, 1976-1981

Subseries A: Interviews and observations on foursquare
Subseries B: Foursquare presentations materials
Subseries C: Cooperstown study and data

Series V: Dissertation materials, 1983

Custodial History

The Linda A. Hughes papers were donated to The Strong on April 2013 as a gift from Linda A. Hughes. The papers were received in one box and accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 113.1893.

Processed by

Kelli Emler, July-August 2015
Finding Aid to the Linda A. Hughes Papers
Kelli Emler and Julia Novakovic
25 August 2015
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)