May 20, 2022

A Look at the Jerry Slocum Puzzle Collection at Indiana University’s Lily Library

From the Indianapolis Star:.

Unlike a museum, Slocum’s collection invites you to experience the art and science of just about every puzzle imaginable — plus many mind-bogglingly complex, unfathomably clever ones.

The wonder of having a hands-on collection lies in letting you feel the frustration of trying seemingly every solution to a puzzle — say, trying to arrange angular pieces into a T shape.

You can feel your resistance to using the clues and your curiosity growing. And then you can feel that oh-so-satisfying triumph of figuring it out (even if, OK, maybe you needed a little bit of help).

“When you solve one, you’re like, I got it! I gotta see if I can solve another one! I’m not gonna let it beat me,” said collection curator Andrew Rhoda.

Read the Complete Article

Learn More

How the Lily Library Describes the Collection

The Jerry Slocum Collection of mechanical puzzles embodies a lifetime pursuit of the intriguing and the perplexing. The result is the largest assemblage of its kind in the world, with over 30,000 puzzles and 4,000 puzzle related books. Unlike word or jigsaw puzzles, mechanical puzzles are hand-held objects that must be manipulated to achieve a specific goal.

Guide to the Slocum Puzzle Collection (via Lily Library, Indiana University Libraries)

Slocum Collection Database (Images of Puzzles)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.