There’s the largest ball of twine and dryer lint, Coke bottles, and spectacles, but for most people collecting is a little more subdued. For each of us collectors we all have our origin stories, how we began collecting our treasures, our first whatever. We get all excited and starry eyed talking about our things and hope in our reverie that our audience’s eyes haven’t glazed over while they go over their shopping list in their heads.
For me, I’ve had several collections over the years for a multitude of reasons. When I did historical re-enactment, I collected all manner of books on the Middle Ages: art, children’s history, fiction. When I was a teacher, I collected children’s cooks. I’m always on the lookout for Jewish stories for children. After my first visit to Wales. I’ve collected both history books and travel ones. Books are big in our family. My husband and middle son collect comic books (and action figures). My daughter’s love is fashion – reading about it, wearing it, and designing it.
When I travel, I still collect pins and postcards and foreign money, especially coins, and ask friends to collect it for me since I travel so infrequently. I also collect griffins and pewter pieces.
My mother collected stamps. My brother has her collection, and she started getting my son some when he was a baby, like dinosaurs, comic strips, super heroes, etc. We still do that, but we’re more selective as they relate to our interests (Batman, Star Wars, and the like. I recently bought a sheet of Harvey Milk.) There is something for everyone.
I have a couple of church friends who collect Mary (the Blessed Mother) statues from their world travels.
In an informal poll on my Facebook, I was surprised by the diversity of people’s collections, some I’d heard of, but many I had not even considered. Demographically speaking, not including myself, respondents were ten female and two male, ages between 21 and 71. Orientation was evenly split for those that identify publicly and all but two were the same race. Most religious practices were unknown to me, but two are Jewish and five are practicing Christians with various degrees of devotion. All but one are college educated with four still in college. Jobs include administrative assistant, nurse/LPN, teacher, nanny, EMT, with two in the insurance industry.
Here is a rundown of the collections; maybe you’ll find one of your collections on this list:
Alex & Ani Bracelets
Arts & Crafts
Blue Sky Ceramics
Halloween Water Globes
Life-saving Tools (for EMT jump bag)
Magnets (from places traveled)
Mugs (from places traveled)
Ticket Stubs from Concerts
My personal collections (to various degrees over the years) include: cameras, fandom related memorabilia, rocks, bottles, matchbooks, buttons, replicas of old books, wallets, pocketbooks, bags plus what I’ve already mentioned and/or bolded.
Other items that I’ve seen collected are: Quilts, aprons, recipes, cookbooks, ashtrays, Broadway PlayBills, farming tools, license plates, swords, musical instruments, plates, spoons, salt shakers, tea kettles, hats.
What I’ve found is that there is a collection for everyone. I’m sure that there are other collectors on my friends’ list from people who were not able to respond.
If you’re a collector for the money/investment, don’t forget to look into the professional price books. You can find them at the library or the hobby section of the bookstore.
Whatever you enjoy, take time to look at your collections. Remember what they mean to you, the memories of where and when you got each one. I started a project about a year ago where I was going to randomly choose a piece of my stuff and write about it. It never got off the ground, but I might revisit it as a summer project. It would be nice to look at the things that I’ve gotten over the years and take a walk down memory lane. I’d love to bring you along.