Holidays are made for gaming!

The Library shouldn’t just be about work. Some of our special collections are also here to help you enjoy your time in Geneva – especially when you’re staying for the holidays. Let’s talk about games with Guillaume Pasquier, our resident board games expert.

Who do we have to thank for this?

I would love to say “me” since I am the resident geek, but the real reason why there is a collection of games is Kathryn Davis. This generous alumna gave her name (and her husband’s) to the Library, as you have certainly noticed through the huge “Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library” sign in the entrance.

When offering a grant for the construction of the new Library, Mrs Davis requested that it offer a place for students to chill out, with games and other entertaining media. This is why the Davis lounge features a series of art books, graphic novels, and a selection of classic games (chess, go, mah-jong, checkers and cards) along with a short biographical note about Kathryn Davis.

There’s more to games than the classics!

Since we moved into the Maison de la Paix, we have tried to assemble a diverse collection of modern board games: some easier, some more complex, some cooperative, others competitive or even very adversarial.

We have of course tried to cover subjects of interest to the Institute: international conflicts, elections, slavery, energy, and the environment – and then, some titles which students just really wanted. Hopefully, everyone can find something for their taste. A full list of our collection is available at the loan desk and on our BoardGameGeek profile.

Our board games can be borrowed for 7 days and loans can be renewed 3 times. They are only available to the Graduate Institute community (students & staff).

New titles!

We have recently added two new references to our collection as part of a donation.

  • Cuba is a development game for 2-5 players, ideally 4.
  • Nusfjord is a placement game for 1-5 players, ideal for 1 or 3 players.

We hope you will enjoy them – let us know!

Do you think some essential titles are missing from our collection? Just send an e-mail to and we’ll see if that can be corrected.

Picture: © 2018 Boris Palefroy / IHEID, all rights reserved. This blog post was first published in April 2018 and updated in December 2019.

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