Button collecting varies widely. In its most informal manifestation, a button collection may simply be the household button container, where buttons are stored for future use on clothing or for crafts. At the other end of the spectrum is the competitive collector, mainly found in the United States. In between these two extremes exist casual button collectors, who accumulate buttons for sheer enjoyment and relaxation, as well as for their functional value.
Buttons in museums and galleries
Some museums and art galleries hold culturally, historically, politically, and/or artistically significant buttons in their collections. The Victoria & Albert Museum has many buttons, particularly in its jewellery collection, as does the Smithsonian Institution.
- American Indian Buttons made with ivory, whalebone and ink at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
- Domestic button collection, circa 1935, from Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
- USPS uniform buttons, at 'Arago', the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
- Silver buttons held in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery
- Luscomb, Sally C. (2003). The Collector's Encyclopedia of Buttons. Atglen, PA: Schiffer. p. 242. ISBN 0-7643-1815-2.
- Osborne, Peggy A. (1997). Button, button : identification and price guide. Atglen, PA: Schiffer. p. 167. ISBN 0-7643-0082-2.
- Peacock, Primrose (1978). Discovering old buttons. Discovering series ; no. 213. Rosemary Godsell (illus.). Aylesbury, UK: Shire Publications. p. 76. ISBN 0-85263-445-5.
- Wisniewski, Debra J. (1997). Antique & collectible buttons : identification & values. Charley Lynch. Paducah, KY: Collector Books. p. 168. ISBN 0-89145-711-9.
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