The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), the playground industry’s leading playground safety certification organization, today was honored by the board of the Frost Play Research Collection for its decade-long support for the library and resources provided on behalf of advancing the study of play. The Collection, housed at the University of the Incarnate Word, is the country’s most prominent compilation of rare historical works and photography from the 19th century to the present day, including a copy of the first book on playgrounds written in America.
Founded by Dr. Joe Frost, known in the industry as “the contemporary father of play advocacy,” the collection is comprised of materials from Frost’s extensive research library, as well as other play and related items purchased by the library. This growing collection currently includes:
- Over 2,000 cataloged books, journal volumes, reports, video recordings and other materials, many of which are rare and/or out-of-print.
- Collections of Dr. Frost’s correspondence, manuscripts and other items related to his research and work in the field of play.
- Hundreds of photographs dealing with children’s play gathered by Dr. Frost.
- Unpublished research documents on play and play environments contributed by research scholars.
“We are honored to receive this recognition because in fact – it’s Dr. Frost and his staff at the University of the Incarnate Word who deserve all of the credit,” said Richard Hawley, President, IPEMA. “The work being done here is remarkable, and IPEMA is proud to have provided strong support from the beginning. We know that the play industry benefits tremendously from this collection of research, as do current students studying play and advancing the field. Congratulations to Dr. Frost and UIW for a decade of tireless work on behalf of play.”
“Because of IPEMA’s generous support throughout the years, scholars and researchers from around the globe have access to a collective body of comprehensive play research,” said Dr. Joe Frost. “The research being done in the field of play is supporting improved credible scientific evidence for the many valuable benefits of play for overall lifelong development, learning, and health.” Frost noted that there are hundreds of students and researchers in San Antonio studying and teaching at area universities who have benefitted from this research. “We are grateful for IPEMA’s ongoing support and continued work on behalf of advancing play,” Frost concluded.
The Collection is led by a Collection Committee, comprised primarily of professors from various disciplines, which meets regularly to plan innovative ways to improve the collection and assist users in their research. Recently, the Collection Committee funded two research fellowships, which will be competitively selected from proposals submitted by students at UIW and other San Antonio universities. IPEMA was a founding sponsor from the Collection’s launch and has contributed more than $55,000 over a 10+ year period. Funding for this endeavor comes from IPEMA membership support from its more than 230 members.
Dr. Frost was also celebrated at the event, recognizing his lifetime of research and work on behalf of play. Dr. Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught for 34 years. He has authored or co-authored 18 books as well as six volumes of original papers, reports and articles. He is known throughout the world for his more than 50 years of work on early childhood and children’s play and play environments. He has also served as past president of both the Association for Childhood Education International and the International Play Association/USA.