Many people collect valuable things, personal treasures that they relate to or things that may increase in monetary value. The desire to collect and preserve is an almost inherent human trait. We can connect to our past through family heirlooms, to historic events through old prints, photos, books, art, recordings. We can even use things from th past like antique furniture or sometimes even ancient crafty things like spoons and bowls. Archaeologists are always busy unearthing long forgotten and buried pieces of all the past civilizations around the world. Antique dealers offer a variety of old things, from trinkets to sometimes priceless treasures. Museums are dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage and treasures of every nation.
I have personally been to archaeological digs, helping unearth ancients dwellings in Germany dating back several thousands of years. It is fascinating to sift through the soil and come upon little bits and pieces of people’s lives long before our time, things that they hand made and used every day. I also enjoy collecting old books. My collection is rather marginal at this point but nevertheless I am fascinated reading through an 1857 edition of Shakespeare’s complete works, a 1927 illustrated Jules Verne novel, a Colliers cyclopedia from 1882. Some of it sounds surprisingly recent when reading it, other things are very typical for that particular time period. It is intriguing to think someone 80, 100 or even 150 years ago was reading this same book. It almost becomes a time machine.
Some people enjoy collecting old letters, reading what distant family members wrote a 100 years ago, or even strangers, maybe former political or religious leaders, artists, scientists. Others collect old records, sometimes dating all the way back to the beginning of the