The Urge to Collect (Hardback)
Motives, Obsessions and Tensions
Why do we collect? Where does the urge to collect come from? This book explores the phenomenon of collecting in various contexts. Collecting is an illustration of a strong human-thing entanglement. It can be caused by psychological incentives that are deeply rooted in human doubts and anxieties. It is also related to building a pleasant, unthreatening, and even paradisical, environment to compensate for the uncertainties of everyday life.The chapters in this book range from psychological perspectives in the Habsburg empire to Rococo collecting in France, from a fanatic English book collector to a 16th/17th century encyclopaedic Dutch collector. And finally the fascinating story of Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s boxes.The contributions to this book were first presented as papers at the seminar "The Psychology of Collecting" in June 2022, organised by the Interdisciplinary Research Group “Museums, Collections and Society” of Leiden University, Netherlands.