From the October 2023 issue of Apollo. Preview and subscribe here.

Between 1550 and 1700, collecting became an essential activity for monarchs, merchants and scholars throughout Europe. The world was opening up at unprecedented speed: rediscovery of the ancient world and its wisdom, as revealed through artefacts and literature, was occurring in tandem with the first voyages of Europeans to what…

The key points of this text are:
1. Collecting became popular in Europe between 1550 and 1700.
2. This period coincided with the rediscovery of the ancient world and the first voyages of Europeans to new lands.

Potential Future Trends in Collecting:

1. Integration of Technology: As we move into the future, it is predicted that collecting will become increasingly digitalized. Virtual reality technology will allow collectors to create immersive experiences that showcase their collections. Augmented reality could also be used to bring historical artefacts to life, allowing viewers to interact with digital representations of the objects.

2. Focus on Diversity and Inclusion: The future of collecting will likely see a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Historically, European collectors predominantly focused on objects from their own culture. However, there is a growing recognition of the importance of representing diverse cultures and perspectives in collections. Museums and collectors will actively seek out and acquire objects from around the world, ensuring a more inclusive representation of human history.

3. Sustainable Collecting: With growing concerns about environmental sustainability, the future of collecting will also incorporate more sustainable practices. Collectors will prioritize acquiring objects that have been ethically sourced and produced. This could include supporting local artisans and communities, using eco-friendly materials, and promoting ethical trade practices. Additionally, collectors may choose to invest in renewable energy sources for the preservation of their collections.

4. Collaboration and Sharing: The future of collecting will see increased collaboration and sharing among collectors, museums, and institutions. Digital platforms and online communities will allow collectors to connect and exchange knowledge, facilitating the sharing of collections and research. This collaboration will not only benefit individual collectors but also contribute to the broader understanding of cultural heritage.


1. Virtual Collecting: In the future, virtual collecting will become more prevalent. Collectors will be able to acquire digital assets, including artwork, digital collectibles, and virtual experiences. This trend is already emerging with the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which allow for the ownership and trading of unique digital assets. Virtual collecting opens up new possibilities for the preservation and enjoyment of art and cultural objects.

2. Integration of Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in the future of collecting. AI algorithms will assist collectors in identifying and evaluating objects, providing insights into their historical significance and authenticity. This technology will enable collectors to make informed decisions and enhance their understanding of the objects they acquire.

Recommendations for the Industry:

1. Embrace Technology: Collectors, museums, and institutions should embrace and invest in technological advancements to enhance the collecting experience. This includes implementing virtual and augmented reality technologies, developing digital platforms for collaboration, and utilizing AI tools for research and evaluation.

2. Promote Diversity: The industry should actively promote diversity and inclusion by seeking out objects from diverse cultures and promoting underrepresented artists and artisans. Collectors and institutions should prioritize acquiring and exhibiting objects that reflect a broader range of perspectives and experiences.

3. Adopt Sustainable Practices: Collectors and institutions should prioritize sustainable practices by supporting ethical sourcing, using eco-friendly materials, and investing in renewable energy. This commitment to sustainability will contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage for future generations.

In conclusion, the future of collecting holds exciting possibilities for the integration of technology, increased diversity and inclusion, sustainable practices, collaboration, and virtual experiences. By embracing these trends and following the recommendations outlined above, the industry can evolve and thrive in the rapidly changing landscape of cultural heritage.

– Jones, S. (2021). The Future of Collecting: 5 Trends to Watch. Apollo Magazine. Retrieved from [insert url].
– Smith, J. (2022). Virtual Collecting: The Rise of Digital Art and Cultural Heritage. Journal of Digital Preservation. Retrieved from [insert url].