Sudbury Hall NT

Sudbury Hall NT

Collecting, past and present

Last week we, the Collections team, had our Collections Corner event in the Museum, based around the theme of collectors and collecting. This got me thinking about the types of things that children like to collect, both now, and in the past. 

Me and Helen (Collections Assistant) manning Collections Corner


 The stereotypical things to collect are stamps. Children started collecting stamps right from when they were first introduced in Britain in 1840, and by the 1860 stamp collecting had spread across the world, a popular pursuit amongst children and adults alike. Other popular things to collection during the Victorian era included natural items such as birds’ eggs, butterflies, rocks, and seashells, or man-made objects like matchboxes and postcards.





























Many things have been collected over the years, from teddy bears and dolls, through antiques and curios, to popular culture artefacts such as football cards and TV character figurines.            


































Collecting has been such a popular pastime for so long that many types of objects have been produced in a form specific to collector’s, with ‘limited editions’ or ‘collectors’ editions’ of everything from teddy bears to Star Wars figurines. 
















More recently there’s been a trend towards short term crazes amongst children for the latest ‘must have’ toy, rather then long-term collecting of one thing. However, a few toys have broken that trend and children have built of large collections of these toys. Some of the more enduring crazes include Beanie Babies, Pokemon cards, Bratz dolls and Moshi Monsters.




































An interesting aspect of the Collection’s Corner event was the personal reaction that many of our visitors had to objects which they had collected themselves in the past. One object in particular sparked a great deal of interest from our visitors: a banner with a large number of Golly brooches pinned to it. We were regaled with tales of how these brooches were collected by saving up the tokens that came with Robinson’s jam and marmalade. While no longer collecting these brooches today, these visitors still enjoyed the nostalgia inspired by seeing the collection of Golly brooches in our care.




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