If you’ve been thinking about starting your own collection of science-related historical documents, the time is definitely right. While research is something that all sorts of disciplines can benefit from, owning your very own copies of some of these documents is exciting. Building your collection properly will help you ensure that you’ve got a solid foundation that you can keep adding to over the years.
Collecting Is Easier than You Think
Many STEM majors think that they’re destined to own copies of copies of books from the great minds in science and technology. While that might be the case for some documents that are currently out of your reach, you can still find historical documents for sale that are not only affordable but also incredibly relevant to your current studies. Finding the right pieces for your own collection takes a little bit of planning so that you can build strategically and end up where you want to be.
Collecting Preserves Historical Documents
But why should you even consider collecting autographs and documents from the greatest STEM minds that have come before? The biggest reason is that in the hands of collectors who love what they’re collecting, preservation is the highest priority. Without people who understand the value of these documents owning them and taking great care of them, they’d be lost forever to the ravages of time. You might be the one thing standing in the way of that fate.
You’re Building a Treasure Trove of Inspiration
Beyond the historical importance, think about what these types of documents will mean to you, personally. Autographs, letters, journals and more can all serve as a way for you to grow to know and to understand your favorite STEM leaders even more. And their words can serve as inspiration when you need it the most during your own education. Reading about Thomas Edison’s desire to safely light the entire city of New York when you’re trying to solve a particularly tough problem in your own work can give you a second wind when you need it most. You might even find that it changes your mind about where you want to study after reading about far away locations.
Content Is King, Even with Autographs and Documents
Starting out with autographs is definitely something that you can do. Keep in mind, however, that ultimately an autograph may be less valuable over time than even a simple note that includes a signature from your chosen STEM leader. The reason for this is that a note, document, or letter includes information other than just the person’s name. It also includes thoughts, facts, opinions, and other little bits of information that build up to a larger story. Taken in context, those larger documents give you a bigger piece of history and therefore are much more powerful cornerstones of your collection.
Buy What You Love, but Invest Wisely
The bottom line is that in order to build a collection that you love, you need to fill it with the items that speak to you. While doing so, try to do so as wisely as possible. It’s far better to have one incredible item in your collection than a handful of documents and autographs that don’t really have that same wow factor. If you can save up for those cornerstone pieces, they’ll be the stars of your collection for years to come. Also, try to avoid buying items just because that person is in the news right now or because it’s the hottest historical STEM figure on everybody’s minds. Just because it’s a fad, that doesn’t mean that it’s right for your collection.
Taking the time to build your collection slowly and thoughtfully is going to give you the best return on your investment. It’s also going to give you a collection you’ll be proud of for years to come.