Collect refers to a type of food acquisition at the beginning of the history of man. Today it usually refers to the systematic search, collection and retention of things or information. In industrialized countries, collecting has become an ideal employment. Institutionalized gathering is to create collections in museums, libraries or archives.

An over-zealous collector is in northern Germany colloquially referred to as Zedler, derived from the professional title of Zedlerei or Zeidlerei, the robbery collecting honey.

  • 3.1 Critical Aspects
  • 3.2 Positive aspects

Collecting as a Hobby

Basically anything can be collected, for reasons of space but especially handy things. There are systematic collector of objects of a certain bounded region ( a region, era, genre or subject matter ) or products of a manufacturer wants to own as completely as possible, and the rather unsystematic collector who collects only the things that he likes or him remember something. This particularly rare items awaken (rarities ) are often a special interest among collectors, popular collectibles are partly already scarce artificially in production ( limited editions - limited editions).

Show collector profiles that frequently in the beginning was a coincidence; through gifts, inheritance, among other things, interest in further acquisition was aroused, this aesthetic considerations played a role particularly common. The first collection is often extended by further collections, the first collection is the collector but almost always true. A collector usually remains throughout his life in his collecting activities.

A large number of collectors ambitious aims for knowledge about their items and try on exhibitions and publications, their skills and knowledge to carry on ( so = systematic collector ). Many collectors organize themselves in associations. Also, swap meets are held, where collectors can contact each other and exchange or buy collectibles. In popular collection areas so that traders can earn their livelihood, and many objects are also made of commercial interest specifically for collectors in limited editions ( with collector certificate). Some of the most coveted manufacturers organize their own collectors club with friends.

Collecting ( versus accumulation ) means select. Critical selection ( worth collecting; genuine or fake ) requires knowledge. The scope of the collection, the special knowledge of the collector grows.

Fund sources for collectors are often auctions, flea markets, antique shops or antique dealers and increasingly online offers. The Internet has special meaning for collectors very exotic things as easy and fast to exchange worldwide. Rarity, popularity and degree of preservation determine the price.

' Valuable Collectibles are fake: ' See counterfeiting, art forgery, counterfeiting stamp.

Popular collections

There are countless things that can be collected. These include historical shares and securities, Postcards, Pins, antiques, stickers, autographs, automobiles (especially vintage ), car or railway models, banknotes, breweriana along with beer mats / beer felts, beer cans or bottles, beer mugs, tin toys (eg Schuco cars), stamps, stationery, books, iron, comics, photographs, cigarette lighters (such as Zippos ), paintings, prints, handbags, cameras (especially Leica ), ceramics, bottles - bottle caps, bookmarks, Militaria, minerals and fossils, model cars, coins and medals, musical instruments, china, radios, collecting pictures, records, butterflies, jewelry, shoes, typewriters, napkins, money boxes, toys, game cube, matchboxes, phone cards, watches, figures from surprise eggs, weapons, newspapers and cigarettes images.


Until the 17th century the collection was a vanitas motif, and the " collection " was used in the relevant representations as a stark reminder of the vanity and obsession. With the absolutism which was associated with a strong appreciation of the organization in all areas of life, but the idea came up that passion for collecting can not only lead to chaos, but also to order. Instead be considered as indiscriminate greed that could exhibit merely as proof of power or self-incrimination, could now find a special understanding of the Collected public recognition.

In museums and archives that originated from the late 18th century, the collection gets its official framework. The public nature of the collections lost their selfish paint and got something Nonprofit. Go back in many cases to private collections of princes and other rulers, which thus once demonstrated their power. For example, Rudolf II and Augustus the Strong as avid collectors were known. For museum collections, the systematic documentation of the find circumstances and context of the use of things is essential. In the museum there is, however, not just about collecting and documenting, archiving and preservation, but also educational presentation ( Museum Education ), knowledge transfer and research.

Scholars and scientists have remained as a collector in memory: about Petrarch bequeathed his vast collection of books of the Republic of Venice with the condition, making it accessible to the public. In the wake of the Enlightenment view has become increasingly important and a large number of educationally oriented collections to different areas emerged, so-called cabinets. They were located in monasteries, such Kremsmuenster in Upper Austria, but also in universities. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe caricatured himself and his passion for collecting in the dialog collector and his family as a ruler, the modeled "the world according to his idea." So he did not rise beyond the traditional vanitas ideas. He is said to have owned an art collection with over 25,000 individual pieces.

From a scientific nature of the cult of relics collecting fossils and archaeological finds has evolved at the same time, which is a component of the research since then and is used to document the cultural history of mankind. This also private collectors contribute by purchasing the right to excavations ( for example, in civil engineering works ) and document the Collectibles, preserve and, where necessary, provide loan to museums.

Collection of shares in insurance companies, which were recorded including in collecting books, had great economic benefits, as in the case of doubt the payments could only be occupied by these receipts. Furthermore, had the collection of discount brands in discount brand staple, especially in the last century, some benefit for traders and customers.

Meanwhile, the collection itself has become an object of scientific employment, whether. In psychology or in cultural studies

Psychological aspects

Critical aspects of

Collectors can fall into the disease symptom of acquisitiveness and self- neglect, partnership and other social contacts. In extreme cases, the as addiction cause not just a collection is created in a well-defined subject area, but that everything is collected: every piece of wrapping paper, each receipt, all the collector comes into the hands (see eg. Bibliomanie and compulsive hoarding syndrome).

Positive aspects

Philosophy of collecting

Recent philosophical considerations criticize one-sided, psychopathologisierende viewing the collection ( as " obsessional " ) and place the other hand, the emphasis on the creative power of collecting as designing your own " desire world."

Collecting as a phenomenon of industrialized countries

The complexity of modern industrial society often awakens the desire for simplicity and clarity, the illusion can be produced by the employment with manageable collection areas. The separation and individualization also leads to a lack of social skills, so that many people preferred the study of objects devote. As a further point, the high degree of division of labor leads to a pronounced specialization, which leads to a lack of competence in other areas of life. The result is a general life subtle uncertainty, which in turn raises the need to deal with reasonable issues to restore a sense of security. The general fear of job loss and social status acts in the same way.