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Dolls can evoke fond memories of our own childhood. The dolls in the collection of the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town can also tell us about how childhood was lived and understood in the past. In this program, we’ll examine a selection of dolls from the 19th and 20th centuries and explore the clues they give us about how their makers meant them to be used, and about how their young owners actually played with them. Through photographs, prints, clothing, and other artifacts, we’ll explore the world where these dolls were made and played with, and how they reflected children’s lives and experiences. We’ll see how children altered and accessorized their dolls to suit their wishes, and finish the program by showing you how to make your own simple doll using materials you have around the house.

This program is intended for families.

Culture Pass is a program for cardholding patrons of New York City’s public libraries, the Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library. Support for Culture Pass is provided by The New York Community Trust, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. To learn more, visit

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