Kevin Connolly wrote:Dustin,
As much as you are in denial, it is the truth. The newcomer must actually see the item, after reading about them to set the spark off. Then, when he sees that they can be acquired, Bingo! You have a new collector.
There is no shortage of magic history books out there. There probably is too many of them. With children from the third grade on up, new movies, new Broadway plays and mass market books exposing the public to magic you have nothing to worry about. There will be interest. Really.
The bottom line is that have to get the newbie first to turn into a collector. If you don't have that, the cycle ends.
I certainly share your sense of urgency about the need for, and importance of, finding a new Magicol
editor, etc., but am not convinced that things like Magicol
cause one to turn into a collector. I think being a collector is more or less innate youre either predisposed to collecting or youre not. Remember, there were no Magicols
or collecting organizations back when the likes of Savren, Burlingame, Ellison and Houdini (to name a few) began collecting well over 100 years ago. The MCA was not formed until 1950, but by then collecting was in full swing and truly a field unto itself. So if we couch it in chicken and egg terms, the collectors were legion long before magic collecting periodicals and organizations came into being, and so, if anything, Magicol
and the MCA are the byproducts of collectors and collecting, and not the other way around. I know that Magicol
had little to do with sparking my interest in collecting when I was a boy in the early 1970s.
I also dont think there is any shortage of collectors and history lovers nowadays, and believe that the abundance of historical and biographical publications is evidence of that. In fact, Id guess that there are more magic collectors than ever in the history of magic collecting, and believe that many of them are relatively young. So, IMO the problem is not the raw numbers, and here is where the heart of Dustins post comes into play. If I understand Dustins post correctly, his concern is about how we inspire collectors to follow the footsteps of the older generation and contribute
to the advancement of magic history.
Getting collectors to contribute is not a new problem, and in the case of Magicol
, while I cant speak for David Meyers experiences as editor, Im pretty sure that back when Jim Alfredson was editor, he often struggled with getting enough contributions to fill up an issue. Jim is a member here so perhaps he will have some thoughts on that. In any case, ten people could step up today and volunteer to be editor of Magicol
, but you still need something to edit, and thats Dustins concern, I think. The question is, why do so few collectors perform the three Cs popularized by Eddie Dawes: collect, collate, and communicate? In a previous post, I suggested one possible reason, and that is the feeling amongst some collectors that what they have to say is not important enough.
I dont know all the reasons why collectors dont contribute, so let me ask you, Kevin. You are a veteran collector, and doubtless have knowledge that you could share with the collecting community. How many articles have you submitted to Magicol
or other magic publications? The point is not at all to put you on the spot or paint you as a bad guy, but to try and understand some of the reasons why old or new collectors do not contribute.