My move to Abu Dhabi was measured in weight. I had to choose, from my roomfuls of books back home, just a small selection to make the three and a half thousand mile journey in a shipping crate . The internet has much information (so only Delia and Nigella made the cut from the cookery books), but it is no replacement for the books, pamphlets, and journals that have been collected over a lifetime.
These may well be full of obsolete and out of date content, but they are a rich resource of nostalgic comfort. I know each page, and can find any image, so it's easy to cross reference and connect disparate and random images and information. New additions to the collection just give more depth. This personal archive really does inform and (often) drives my work.
Its loss has made me feel a bit ungrounded and rudderless.
You don't need to tell a design student to collect stuff, I imagine it's hard wired in, but a bit of advice would be to scan and record, draw from and photograph.
I wish I'd made a record of the 1940’s type primers, and 1950s sewing patterns, the brilliantly designed 1958 trade book on printing technology (dull but gorgeous), that are all boxed up on the other side of the world.