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Published March 13, 2023 Updated March 13, 2023

Night & Day playing cards

‘Night & Day’ playing cards produced by London Underground, United Kingdom

United Kingdom Education Health Transport Add to Collection

This multi-coloured pack was produced by London Underground as a means of informing staff about the difficulties and dangers of shift work (such as sleep problems, occupational and driving accidents, and long-term health conditions) and, at the same time, as a medium to offer hints and tips to help staff understand the personal effects on their life and to help them feel healthier and happier at work. Recognising that shift work is common in many sectors, including transport, and in response to stakeholders for improved education and awareness among the public and employers about the health effects of shift work, London Underground responded with this colourful and informative offering.

Each suit concentrates on a particular aspect: Eyes wide open: helping you stay awake at night (spades); Counting sheep: facts and tips to help you sleep (diamonds); Timeout: facts and tips for your leisure time (clubs); You are what you eat: healthy eating facts and tips (hearts). The cards are larger than average (10 cm x 6.5 cm), and include 2 jokers and 2 extra cards which explain their rationale

Night & Day playing cards produced by London Underground Night & Day playing cards produced by London Underground Night & Day playing cards produced by London Underground

Above: ‘Night & Day’ playing cards produced by London Underground.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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