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PRESS RELEASE

WIT and The Strong National Museum of Play Announce Establishment of the WIT Collection

Archive Collection Documents Contributions of Women in the Toy Industry

February 15, 2016 – New York, NY – As part of its 25th Anniversary celebration, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT), in partnership with The Strong National Museum of Play, announces the establishment of The WIT Collection – archived materials that will document, preserve and make accessible the many ground-breaking contributions made to the Toy Industry by women inventors, designers, manufacturers, marketers and newsmakers. These curated archival contributions will be announced on an annual basis as part of WIT’s new Member Emeritus Program.

The archives will be housed in the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong in Rochester, New York. The collection will include sketches and drawings, notebooks, correspondence, research notes, prototypes, production samples and digital assets from WIT Emeritus Members that will help advance general understanding and research on the toy development process in creating the best play experiences for children of all ages.

“The Strong museum is delighted to partner with Women in Toys to preserve important archival materials from its members and to share those holdings with scholars and the general public,” says The Strong’s Vice President for Collections, Christopher Bensch. “The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play is the premier repository for documentation on the history of play and playthings, and we’re grateful to WIT for is commitment to enhancing the library’s holdings in such significant ways.”

This multi-year initiative will be spearheaded by WIT co-founders Anne Pitrone and Susan Matsumoto, who will curate the annual WIT Emeritus contributions, work hand-in-hand with the archival staff at The Strong, and report directly to the WIT Board.

“The WIT Collection is a great opportunity to further celebrate and acknowledge the many accomplishments made by women in our industry,” says WIT co-founder Anne Pitrone. “We are very excited to work in partnership with The Strong on this initiative.”

Membership Emeritus will be a lifetime WIT membership that includes an invitation to participate in The WIT Collection at The Strong. Qualifications for earning Emeritus Membership will include having responsibility for the creation and/or execution of successful toys, or having ownership of an important collection of papers, drawings, samples or digital assets.


ABOUT WOMEN IN TOYS, LICENSING & ENTERTAINMENT
Founded in 1991, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) / The WIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to advance women through leadership, networking and educational opportunities. WIT serves and supports women at all stages of their careers, from entrepreneurs and startups to seasoned industry veterans. The WIT Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students enrolled in industry-related undergraduate programs. WIT has 25 chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, France, the UK and Australia, with liaisons in Finland, Germany, India and Lebanon.