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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Register by Dec. 31 to display your collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s 32nd annual Collectors Day Jan. 22, 2011.

To register, visit or call Tiffany Ireland, Florida Museum education assistant, 352-273-2061. Collectors of all ages are welcome and there is no charge for participating.

“Collectors Day is our longest-running event,” Ireland said. “It has been a part of the museum since 1980.”

In 2010, more than 4,000 visitors explored about 200 unique collections. This free event has featured a variety of interesting and eccentric collections including PEZ dispensers, Beatles paraphernalia, classic cars and pancake flippers. Presenting collectors have been as young as 4 years old, and one year, a dog displayed his stick collection.

“Collectors Day is a way to promote the importance of collecting to our society,” Ireland said. “What makes Collectors Day unique and intriguing is the talent and dedication of the collectors who want to protect and steward modern history.”

With 21 research collections ranging from Florida archaeology and Latin ethnography to invertebrate paleontology and Lepidoptera, the museum’s mission includes education on the importance of collecting and preserving specimens and information for future generations.

The museum recently began sharing its collections with the public through the new permanent exhibition “Museum Collections are the Library of Life.” Through acrylic-covered drawers, visitors may view specimens from each of the museum’s collections. The exhibit also includes historical information on the museum, which traces its roots to the late 1800s.

“Whether you collect fossils, art or pop culture memorabilia, that collection preserves history for future generations to study, enjoy and learn from,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum assistant director of exhibits.

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Source: Tiffany Ireland, 352-273-2061,
Writer:  Leeann Bright
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,