Collectors are restless, inquisitive, obsessive people. At a conservative estimate, every tenth person collects something. And everyone has their own collectibles. Philatelists collect stamps, deltiologist: postcards, numismatists: coins, phalerists: medals and badges, bibliophiles: books, and audiophiles: records.
There are those individuals whose collections are unbelievably unusual: beer cans, or buttons, or statuettes of ladybirds, or items from wrecked ships or medieval torture instruments. The specific name for these particular types of collection have not yet been determined. This is not surprising, as there are more than a thousand types of collectibles recorded around the world.
Albert Einstein said that collecting is a wonderful form of an active relaxation, which helps a person to focus on something else. By the way, the brilliant physicist himself was obsessed with this passion. He had quite an impressive collection of stamps and records.
Many great people were collectors. It is known that the President of the United States Ronald Reagan collected proverbs and sayings of different nations, and his wife Nancy collected Easter eggs. Napoleon collected watches, and Sir Winston Churchill – tin soldiers. German Chancellor Bismarck collected thermometers, French President Édouard Herriot – restaurant menus. And the world’s first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin collected… cacti!
Some people call collectors weirdos, and their hobby of collecting, a waste of time. But is it? After all, each collector does not just spend time and money, but, above all, creates his or her own personal “history of things”. This intriguing process allows for a unique perspective on the stages of development of different spheres of human activity and development. Many of the world’s largest museums began as personal collections, for example Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum or Frick Collection in New York City, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, or the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg, which is based on the exclusive collection of Peter the Great.
It is not an easy task to collect items that are original, interesting and essential; this takes many, many years and each collector has his or her own fascinating tale to share. Each collection certainly has its own “pearl”, behind which there is always an interesting story, involving both the collectible itself and circumstances of its search and eventual discovery. Often, there is a hidden history of an entire country linked to an ordinary, at first glance, item, such as an old record for a gramophone or even a book.
And, finally, a true collector always has a feeling of unfulfillment, as he or she is always looking for new items to add to a collection. Therefore, every collector has his or her secrets of how and where they search for a new item. Sometimes stories revolving around the search for an item is more fascinating than even the most twisted detective yard.
The documentary series “Canadian Collectors” consists of 10 webisodes, each lasting approximately 30 minutes.
Each webisode is about an unusual collection, and the person behind it.