Stein Collectors International
Show and Tell

Library Display Garners Interest

July 2000 - from Jim Gasowski

On one of my recent visits to the local library, which I use frequently when trying to research the history behind one of my steins, I noticed a display case at the entrance with an attractive display of model boats. My compulsion to share my stein-collecting interests and the history that they contain got the better of me. I approached the head Librarian and questioned her about the possibility of putting on a display of steins. She became quite interested after I told her how much history could be involved in different steins. Within a month, she contacted me and requested that I put a display out for the month of May. I was thrilled at the prospect, but was also concerned about security for the steins at such a public place. She assured me that the case would always be locked and that there was an alarm system at the library itself, plus the local Police Department routinely checked on the facility. With that assurance, I proceeded to set up the small exhibit shown to the left. I also did not post my name or phone number, so I would not be contacted - or visited - by unfamiliar people. All questions regarding the display were conveyed to me through the Librarian.

I was enthusiastic about displaying some of my steins because it gave me the opportunity to share information with others about our hobby and about SCI. Of course, it also held out the possibility that I would be asked to help someone who needed an evaluation on grandfather's stein, or wanted to sell a piece they had picked up at a flea market.

I chose pieces from my collection to give viewers a sense of the variety in steins, and the history which they have captured. I also included Gary Kirsner’s recent "Beer Stein Book" and Ron Heiligenstein’s "Regimental Beer Steins". Next to each stein I placed a small paragraph explaining the stein and its history. I also included information about Stein Collectors International, taken from the Web Site.

This was very enjoyable for me, and is something that could be done by any collector. One German lady told me of the fond memories the display brought back for her, and I had numerous comments relayed to me by the Librarian indicating that most people had no idea of the beauty and history related to Beer Steins.