It all started around 35 years ago in Transylvania, Romania. Back in the 1980’s, in the heights of the communist dictatorism the 3 hour per day TV programming and handful of newspapers and magazines could cover only internal events. One of the only accesses to the world was through mail and postcards. This is when I started to collect European postcards which later evolved into collecting photos of Hollywood stars and musicians. It wasn’t however until recently that I found out: my early hobby has a “scientific” name as importantly sounding as a doctor”s specialization: deltiologist (collector of postcards).
Even the most familiar sort of collecting however, may have a given name that is much less familiar. Later in my twenties I become an avid numismatist (coin collector) and notaphilist (banknotes, paper money collector). It’s not unusual to know someone who collects dolls, but until recently I did not know that these collectors are known as plangonologists. When I was a kid, several of my friends would swap matchbook covers for their collections, but I doubt that any of them knew that they were phillumenists.
Over the years, I’ve known people who have collected butterflies (lepidopterists), recipes (receptarists), books (bibliophilists), stamps (philatelists), beer coasters (tegestologists), teddy bears (arctophilists), autographs (philographists) and flags (vexillologists).
With the seemingly limitless number of things that someone could start collecting, it provokes the question of what it is exactly that makes collectors out of so many of us. And what is it that compels us to collect the specific things we’ve chosen to collect?
These are questions only a philosopher or a psychologist may be able to answer. We at ColFolio aim to help in a more practical way by building a comprehensive and interactive online database of collectibles and a new way to identify, catalog, manage and most importantly appraise a collection at current market value.
Here is the unofficial collector name list, terms used by collectors that are becoming pretty common:
Aerophilatelist – a student or collector of airmail stamps, cancellations, etc.
Arctophile / arctophilists – a person who is very fond of and is usually a collector of teddy bears
Audiophile – a person who is especially interested in high-fidelity sound reproduction
Bestiarist – a writer and/or collector of bestiaries. Bestiaries are collection of moralized fables, especially as written in the Middle Ages, about actual or mythical animals. More on bestiary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestiary
Bibliophile / bibliophilists – a person who loves or collects books, esp. as examples of fine or unusual printing, binding, or the like
Brandophilist – collector of cigar bands
Cameist – one who collects cameos or relief images (mostly images of a woman’s head and shoulders) in fashion jewelry
Conchologist – a collector and student of mollusk shells
Copoclephilist – key rings collector
Deltiologist – a person who collects postcards as a hobby
Discophile – a person who studies and collects phonograph records, especially those of a rare or specialized nature
Errinophilist – one who collects revenue or tax stamps (NOT postage stamps)
Exlibrist – a collector of ex-libris records (inscription in or on a book, to indicate the owner; bookplate)
Exonumist – a person who collects exonumia (items, as tokens or medals that resemble money but are not intended to circulate as money)
Fusilatelist – one who collects telephone calling cards
Helixophile – person who collects corkscrews
Heortologist – collector of religious calendars
Iconophile – a connoisseur of icons or images
Lepidopterist – the collecting of butterflies and moths
Lexiconophilist – collector of dictionaries and other books of words
Notaphilist – collector of banknotes, paper money, paper currency or plastic notes
Numismatist – a person who collects numismatic items for ex. coins
Oenophile – a person who enjoys or collect wine, particularly grape wines from certain regions, varietal types, or methods of manufacture.
Oologist – a collector of birds’ eggs
Philatelist – the collector of stamps and other postal matter ex revenue stamps, stamped envelopes, postmarks, postal cards, covers, and similar material relating to postal or fiscal history
Phillumenist – a collector of different match-related items: matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks, matchcovers, matchsafes, etc.
Philographist – a personn who collects autographs
Phonophile – a collector or connoisseur of phonograph records
Plangonologist – someone who collects dolls
Pyrographer – one who collects items with designs burned on wood, leather, etc.
Receptarist – a person who collects recipes
Scripophile – a person who collects receipts, certificate representing a fraction of a share of stock or paper currency in denominations of less than one of the official currency (ex. dollar)
Sucrologist – a hobbiest who collects sugar sachets and/or packets
Tegestologists – someone who collects beer mats or coasters
Telegery – is the hobby of collecting telephone calling cards
Vecturist – a person who collects transportation tokens as a hobby
Vexillologist – the collector of flags or banners
The list most likely is incomplete. Your input and suggestion of additional collector names for this list is welcome!
Acknowledgement: thank you Mike Mendel for suggesting “bestiarist” to the list!