Public Collectors consists of informal agreements where collectors allow the contents of their collection to be published and permit those who are curious to directly experience the objects in person. Participants must be willing to type up an inventory of their collection, provide a means of contact and share their collection with the public. Collectors can be based in any geographic location.
Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public.
The purpose of this project is for large collections of materials to become accessible so that knowledge, ideas and expertise can be freely shared and exchanged. Public Collectors is not intended, nor should it be used, for buying and selling objects. There are many preexisting venues for that.
Collectors can accommodate viewers at whatever location is most comfortable or convenient for them. If their collection is portable or can be viewed in a location other than the collector’s home, this would still be an appropriate way to participate in the project.
In addition to hosting collection inventories and other information, http://www.publiccollectors.org includes digital collections that are suitable for web presentation, do not have a physical material analog, or are difficult or impossible to experience otherwise.