People Who Collect

What is the word for People Who Collect?

The short answer is
A Collector. People seem to think that because some well-established collecting hobbies such as philately (stamp-collecting and the study of postal history), bibliophily (book-collecting) and numismatics (the collecting and study of coins) have particular names, there must be a word for the collecting of anything from matchbox labels to China ornaments. Collectors have had some success in promoting the terms arctophily (teddy-bear collecting from Greek arktos bear), tegestology (beer-mat collecting from Greek tegestos a small reed mat), deltiology (postcard collecting from Greek deltion a little writing-tablet) and copoclephily (key-ring collecting from Greek kope handle and kleis key). However, these are little known outside the circle of devotees except as verbal curiosities.

One expert's view of such words is summed up by the following terse extract from J. Rendell's 1963 book Collecting Matchbox Labels:

Despite the fact that the word
phillumenist has come to a certain extent into general use the only correct appellation for the subject remains matchbox label collecting and the serious student of it describes himself or herself as no more or less than a matchbox label collector.

I'm afraid it is our job as website owner to present and explain existing words, not to invent new ones!

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