Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
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To display or not to display

by Steven R. Cooper

Central States Archaeological Societies 2007 July Journal

Kingston Springs, Tennessee

One of the most exciting events for collectors is to attend a show. While many attend, only a few of them display their collections. It's also not uncommon for a large percentage of tables to be occupied by dealers. Sometimes a dealer will have a display, result of the show host requiring at least some display area.

It isn't difficult to display and the benefits are very rewarding. First, you meet others who have the same collecting interest. Second, collectors see your artifacts and they become points of conversation. Third, you find other collectors offering artifacts since they know what you collect. Finally, you will feel proud of your collection and gain the respect of other collectors.

What makes for a good display? Actually it is quite easy. You can usually make a great display on one six or eight foot table. That is a manageable amount of space for one person. Shows often discount display only tables, so the expense is minimal. Two three foot frames easily fit on most tables.

Instead of trying to display everything you've ever collected, be selective. A frame with a few things is a lot easier to look at than two hundred arrowheads packed in thirty six inches. I suggest you include some information about the artifacts in your display. Mention the material, size and known site or collection., and if it ever appeared in publication. Collectors will always stop and read. A home computer will allow printing, and I like card stock. I even have laminated the cards. It only costs a few dollars and looks very professional.

I have a couple of cases dedicated to displaying, and change out artifacts from show to show. This allows you to display your entire collection over time and to always have something new to draw collectors to your table. Once you start displaying, you will never regret it. You will make new friends and discover aspects of collecting you never knew even existed.I have become a dedicated displayer over the years and enjoy the thrill of showing my collection time and time again.


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