The international forum Collecting & Display runs a seminar series at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London that addresses important aspects of the history of collecting and display. Several international conferences have been organised with academic partners worldwide. The primary aim is to provide a forum for discussion on the many different issues connected to collections and their display. Areas of interest include the history of archaeology and architecture, the history of private collections and museums, the great house, the history of the natural sciences, court culture and diplomacy. The seminars and conferences encourage the exploration of a range of academic approaches to the study of collecting, including gender and economic history. Geographically, the scope is pan-European but input from scholars working on non-European collections is welcome. Although the main emphasis is on art and artefacts, collections of information, naturalia and mirabilia may also be included. Socially, the group is interested in collections ranging from royal collections to those of private citizens and from the secular to the ecclesiastical.
In 2004 a group of three scholars, Susan Bracken, Andrea Gáldy and Adriana Turpin, engaged in research on the History of Collecting, founded the working group Collecting & Display to provide a centre for regular meetings focusing on new research in the history of collecting and related topics. The Institute of Historical Research hosts the monthly seminar meetings of the group. Since then the committee has organised a number of international conferences which have taken place in London, Ottobeuren, Florence, Irsee, Venice, Paris, Munich and Jerusalem, and held sessions at the Renaissance Society of America annual conference. Papers from these conferences have been published in what is now the Collecting Histories Series at Cambridge Scholars Press as well as in volumes published by Bloomsbury and Predella.