Good Questions: How To Display a Collection

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Nancy wrote in asking about displaying her numerous collection of concert tickets: I have collected a large amount of concert tickets throughout the years, and would love to find a creative way to display them. I met a guy a few years ago who cleverly kept his underneath glass in his coffee table, but I've been unable to find something like it. The closest was IKEA's Pilbo, but I'd love to find something a little more...sturdy. Any ideas?

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Nancy, using a glass top on a table is a great idea for displaying paper or photographic ephemera. I've recently seen precut sheets of tabletop glass of various sizes at the Hotel Surplus Outlet that may or may not work for you, depending upon the current available sizes. If money is not so much of an issue, I'd also consider contacting a local glass shop and asking them to custom size a glass top for whichever surface you want to use to showcase your tickets.
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Another idea is to have your collection framed and displayed on the wall. Yes, not so original in itself. But if you sorted through the collection and categorized by colour, you could have multiple large frames composed of tens of tickets per frame, with different shades of red coloured tickets, another with blue ones, and so and so on. This could create a cohesive visual statement composed of disparate elements, resulting in a very pop art effect. You could display them in rows, or fan them our in a circle (or any shape really). Or perhaps use large shadow box frames to group tickets by year, band or venue, and then add memorabilia that compliments the bands' shows (i.e. grabbed set list, concert photos, etc) around the displayed tickets. This way, your display will both be more visually interesting and also have a sort of narrative that communicates the place, time and experience of your favourite shows.
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Finally, my last option is a more subtle solution for displaying your large collection. Using a scanner, you could scan your tickets and have all the resulting scanned images converted into a photographic book, by using a service like Apple's iLife iPhoto Photo Books. The resulting book could become your own customized coffee table books, allowing your collection to be "displayed" or put away without really harming your real collection.

Perhaps there are other ATLA readers out there who have similar collections and have different ideas about display? Please share!

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