I'm not planning to write a Covey-esque book, but after interviewing so many established and successful collectors on the subject of creating world-class ephemera collections, I've distilled the seven habits of highly successful ephemera collectors:
- Patience. Effective collectors know the value of patience, and may, if need be, wait months or even years before acquiring a particularly rare and important specimen for their collection.
- Persistence. Effective collectors have the fortitude to continually search and scour until they unearth (sometimes literally) an item to add to their collection.
- Scholarship. Effective collectors know that knowledge is power in the world of collecting. It provides an edge that separates the expert collector from the rest of the field. Effective collectors become, in effect, experts on the subject of their collectible.
- Understanding. Effective collectors understand that their collection may never be perfect or complete. The joy of collecting is in the gathering and studying of whatever it is they find fascinating and worthwhile.
- Preservation. Effective collectors know that it is not what they have, but how well they take care of it that matters. Effective collectors think like archivists, and care for their treasures like a Brinks guard protects the cash coming out of a Vegas counting cage.
- Internet Search Savvy. Effective collectors know the value of the Internet, and they have learned how to bend search engines to their will. Like Major Nelson summoning Barbara Eden from the bottle, they know how to use search engines to bring forth items they seeks.
- Fraternity. Effective collectors reach out to others in the collecting community, and share their wisdom and knowledge freely. They understand that sharing their expertise is its own reward, and that by contributing to the knowledge base, they expand the availability of collectibles and increase the value of their collection.
This is what I've learned at the feet of the masters.