This set gathers together books, pamphlets and articles on all forms of collecting. The volumes have been carefully chosen to illustrate the principle intellectual and political motives which have fed into collecting during its formative 'enlightenment' years from about 1650 to 1870. Each writer represented in the this set is both important in his own right, and in the influence which he had upon contemporaries and successors. They link together in a sequence which shows the successful preoccupations and fields of museums and collecting over this crucial two-hundred year period.
The volumes reprinted here encapsulate something of the history of European museums and particularly attitudes to collecting during the two hundred years which saw the birth and development of almost all the great institutions. All the authors here were significant players in the history of taste, appreciation and understanding. They have left their indelible mark on the museum scene which we see around us, and on the philosophical history of the Western world.