ESTABLISHING A NEW WORLD RECORD WITH BOOKMARKS
by Asim Maner
Divendal, from Alkmaar, Holland, is an unusual collector of bookmarks. He
has written twelve
articles on bookmarks for the Dutch magazine Boekenpost in
1990s as well as two booklets in 1995
and 2003, which were published by the Dutch publishing house De
Buitenkant, Amsterdam. I will tell
later about one of his witty booklets and about his unique personal
bookmark. Frank works in the
administration division of the social security
agency in Alkmaar, and in his free time and by the way
he established a
new world record as the owner of the largest collection of bookmarks. When he was
listed in the Guinness Book of World
Records in 2006, he owned 71'235 different
bookmarks from all
over the world. Incredibly, as of April 2012, he
now possesses more then 120'000 bookmarks.
This achievement of Frank
is great even compared to other collectors with respectable collections.
The Bookmark Museum of the
City of Duisburg,
Germany, for example, used to announce that they
have over 10'000
bookmarks not long ago. However, I have also learned of an other
more than 40'000 bookmarks, which may already have
reached more than 50'000. Even so, it is a
unique sphere Frank is moving
a record holder, Frank attracts quite some attention and in 2008 he was
invited to come to Dubai
and make an exhibition. As a result, several newspapers reported about
Frank and his collection. In
2011 he was interviewed on the Dutch television.
What impresses me more than the huge number of his bookmarks is
Frank's knowledge about
which bookmarks he already possesses or not. This is
astounding to me as I have always problems
knowing what I have in my comparatively small
collection of bookmarks and I ask myself frequently:
'Do I have this bookmark
or not?' Curious, I asked Frank how he manages to know about every single
bookmark in his collection. Here is what he said:
"My collection consists of bookmarks from all over the world, made of
different materials, some were
bought, others were found in bookshops,
libraries and everywhere where books are. Friends give them
to me, but
many reached my collection by exchanging with fellow collectors. I
collect all types of bookmarks
from all over the world, but I prefer
those made of paper. I have been collecting bookmarks since 1982.
I store vintage bookmarks in special albums with transparent pages as
you can see in the picture above.
I have 15 of these albums already.
The newer bookmarks I place in one of the drawers I have, meanwhile
70 in number, two of which can be seen on the table in
the picture above. In the background you see
my shelves where the
drawers and the albums are stored.
cannot of course
know immediately if I have a bookmark already or not, but
I have them organized quite
well. First I sort them by country. Then,
within a country, I separate them into special themes like bookshops,
tourism, charity, etc. When I have a lot bookstores in one country, I
sort them alphabetically.
I do the same with editors. I also have special
drawers for woven bookmarks, leather bookmarks, and other
materials. Anytime I have more
on one subject I make further categories.
When for example I receive a
bookmark from a bookshop in England, I open
the drawer for the "English Bookshop Bookmarks".
They are arranged
alphabetically, so I can know quickly if it is new to me or not.
makes the most work
is if I receive, let me say, 100 different bookmarks from several different
countries. Bookmarks from
one country are sorted much more easily. First, I check
I receive to see if I have it already. If I do, then it
goes to the
doubles area: these are reserved for exchange
with my collector colleagues. The number of
bookmarks received minus the bookmarks which went to
the doubles gives
me the number of how many new bookmarks I received. And that is how I'm able to keep
up on how many different bookmarks I have."
Again, I'm impressed
by the exact organization that allows Frank to know at any time how many
bookmarks he possesses. I for myself, I have to sit sometimes in
front of the computer for a rather long time
and to search the Internet to understand which organisation, company or
club or whatever is represented
here with a bookmark, and what they are
trying to tell me. I have to find out who the unknown publisher of
bookmark is and what they do before I can put the bookmark in the right
box. Sometimes it is an impossible
job if I don't understand the
language. In this case, however, it goes much faster: if I can't
identify the bookmark,
it simply goes into a box named X-Files.