Collecting is a hobby consisting of the acquisition of items of a particular category and organizing or displaying them. These collections are often highly organized and carefully cataloged.
Some collectors choose to focus on a specific subtopic within their area of general interest, for example 19th Century postage stamps, milk bottle labels from Sussex, or Mongolian harnesses and tack. Others prefer to keep a more general collection, accumulating any or all Star Trek merchandise, or postage stamps from all countries of the world.
Most of the common collecting areas have specialized commercial dealers that trade in the items being collected, as well as in any tools or display mechanisms that collectors use. Many of these dealers started as collectors themselves, then turned their hobby into a profession.
Here are some of the collections often made:
- Antique collecting
- Art collecting
- Automobile license plate collecting, only possible in places where the plates are not government property.
- Egg collecting (Oology)
- Book collecting (Bibliophily, often by genre)
- Bottle collecting
- Brand article collecting
- Card collecting
- Character collecting
- Coin collecting (also medals and tokens) (Numismatics)
- Comic book collecting
- Currency collecting (Notaphily) - paper currency collecting
- Doll collecting
- Home-computer collecting
- Keyring collecting
- Matchbook collecting - and matchbox collecting
- Miniature collecting
- Patch/badge collecting (Scutelliphily)
- Phone-card collecting
- Record collecting (see also GŁnther Schifter)
- Seashell collecting (Conchology)
- Silver collecting
- Souvenir spoon collecting
- Stamp collecting (Philately)
- Thimble collecting
- Weapon collecting