Become a COLLECTOR - National Museum of American History

Become a COLLECTOR - National Museum of American History
A Puerto Rican Carnival :
Collecting helps to preserve objects for the future. By
studying objects from the past, we can learn about the
people who used them and how they lived. Historian and
collector Teodoro Vidal learned about many things from
studying objects, including the history of Puerto Rican
carnivals! In the future, people will look at the objects
that we use everyday to learn about us.
When you start your own collection,
keep these questions in mind.
oro Vidal
Collector Teod
SI photo
What kind of things do you like?
What kinds of things go together?
You can collect all kinds of things. Objects do not have to be expensive
or rare to be collected. Do you enjoy sports? Do you like to read? Do you play a
musical instrument?
One of the great things about collecting is learning more
about your interests. If you are interested in baseball,
collecting baseball cards helps you learn about your favorite
players. You can collect things important to your family,
and create a family history museum! The possibilities are
Objects in a collection usually go together in some way.
For example, you could start a “stuffed animals”
collection, and collect all different types of stuffed animals.
You could also start a “Stars and Stripes” collection and
collect all sorts of things related to the American flag.
After you have chosen a collecting theme, think about
what objects best fit into your collection. How will they
be similar to each other? Different? Big? Small? As
the collector, you get to decide!
Topps base
ball card o
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Paige from
Ronald S.
of Sports an rda Collection
d Trading
M ake a li st of s ome of t he t hi ng s you m ig ht like t o collect
Draw your own collect ion below!
Collect i ng t ips:
Air pollution:
Don’t store materials in direct sunlight.
Don’t let your objects get too hot or too cold. Store them in a closet,
not in a basement, attic, or garage.
Keep dust off your objects. Don’t exhibit your objects near the
kitchen or fireplace.
Store your objects away from places bugs live, like kitchens and damp
Copyright © 2002 Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center.
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