Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Why do we collect? What do we collect?

Posted on: May 11, 2013

What do we collect? Why do we fill our desks, cupboards, and shelves with jewelry boxes, athletic event tickets, or matchbooks?

Curious Collectables, a Winona County History Center exhibit, tells us that people have been collecting for centuries; museums were started so people couldBedpans show off what they collected.  This current exhibit includes items from the Historical Society’s own collections and others dressbrought in by Society members. Collectables displayed include  yardsticks, thimbles, chain breakers, gnomes, postcards and coffee mugs from all 50 states, canning jar lids, malformed hardware, and Native American snowshoes. Clothing includes beautiful gowns such as one from the 1850’s, some from the Jazz Age, and army helmets.  Porcelain bedpans are especially unique and attention getting!

Minnesota State University professor and archivist Terry Stoptaugh said we collect to stimulate memory. It was fun to playbillsreminisce as I sorted through my personal collection of theatre playbills. Several from local professional, community and school productions are displayed for others to enjoy. It’s fun to share and perhaps evoke memories in people who  see their own name in a playbill.

What do you collect?  What stories would  your personal display tell?

Credits: Winona County History Center, April 2013.
Create a personal display in an online class: Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources 
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