Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 11 months 1 week ago

At this stage, I have already completed my Phase 0 and Phase 1 work. In Phase 2, my goal is to be able to find sources that will help me do my research that I will do later on in the process.

As I was researching for background knowledge there were a few key words that I used in order to make my research easier.
Antique: This was the first thing that I looked up because if I search for antique, I would be able to get some very basic knowledge about what an antique is.
Collectible: After I knew what an antique was, I thought that it would be important to know the difference between an antique and a collectible, and sure enough, I did.
Antique and Collectible Interesting: After I knew what the two words were, and their similarities and differences I added the word 'interesting' at the end because the best way to find fun facts about anything is just to add the word 'interesting' at the end.
Yuxi Blue and White: I wanted to learn a bit more about a specific type of antique that is also relevant to us, so I decided to investigate very simply what Yuxi Blue and White is.
I got lots of my other sources from other Microcampus Students' Phase 3 workspace.

During my research, there were definitely times where I did not check the validity of the information I was writing down as I was writing it down. A few facts that I have, I am almost positive are correct because multiple sources agree on it. An example of this would be how four sources agree that an antique must exceed 100 years of age to be considered an antique. Another part of my research is made up of partial opinion so it is very hard for it to be considered wrong since it is the voice of someone on something as opposed to fact.

After that, I have to start checking the validity of individual sources which involves multiple steps. Firstly, I have to find who the author is. Using the article written by Britannica, it is very easy to find the author, given the fact that their name is written on the top. On the article by Koh Antique, however, you have to click the 'Contact Me' button in order to find the author. Then you have to find the last time the article was edited in order to see the timeliness of the article. Using the example of Britannica again, you can see the history of the article at the bottom, and see when it was last edited. Another very good sign of a trustworthy article is if it cites the sources it uses because then you know where they got their information from and can use those sources, too.

For my expert on Chinese antiques, I chose to contact Roger Schwendeman since he has a website on antiques and collectibles and has spent a lot of time investigating them. Below is the email that I sent Mr. Schwendeman

Hello Mr.Schwenderman! My name is Sam, I am currently in 8th grade and I go to school in China. I am part of something that we call Microcampus. Microcampus is basically a trip that 16 students in our grade go on for a month to Xizhou. I was lucky enough to be one of the 16 students chosen after the application to get in and now have taken the first few steps on my journey. One of the main things we do in Microcampus is called the Inquiry Project. At the very start of our Inquiry Project, we are supposed to pick a topic that interests us from a list of topics ranging from local cooking to death rituals to local fishing. For my topic, I chose to do antiques and collectibles. After we had chosen our topics we had to do a bit of background research, devise 10 questions to help guide our research and then contact an expert. After looking around for a while I found your website and I knew that the person leading this website obviously knows quite a bit about antiques, so now I am sending you this email. Attached is a link to my workspace showing what I have done so far, as well as the 10 questions that I made which are separated into 4 different groups. I would really love it if you could give me some feedback on how I am doing so far and whether or not you think I am on the right track.

Laws Surrounding Antiques:
1. What are the laws surrounding buying, owning and selling antiques?
Buying and Selling Antiques
2. What is the reason that people even want to buy antiques in the first place?
3. How has the antique market changed over the years?
4. What type of antique is most rare and sought out among antique collectors? Why?
5. How do prices from a local dealer differ from that of an online seller, which is sold more, and why does one sell better than the other (if one does)?
Features of Different Antiques
6. How can you pinpoint the age of an antique?
7. How do you know the value of an antique and how often to people actually pay that value for an antique?
8. Will people want to buy a common antique that is easy to find or a rare antique that is hard to find? Why?
Yuxi Blue and White
9. How is the production of Yuxi Blue and White different from that of normal antiques?
10. Why is Yuxi Blue and White so special?

Thank you so much!

Mr. Schwenderman replied to me and gave many helpful website links and sources that helped me have some more background knowledge on antiques and collectibles.


A 3-to-5 is an interview that includes several things. We interview 3 to 5 adults, ask them each 3 to 5 questions which should last 3 to 5 minutes. For my 3-to-5's I chose to interview Mr.T, Ms.Mai, Ms. B and Mr.Chen. I decided to interview Mr.T since he said that we should all interview him. Also, because Mr.T has been coming to Xizhou for 7 years, he knows a lot about the village and the people who live in it, in addition to the fact that Mr.T is an antique collector himself. I chose Ms.Mai for a very similar reason. She has also been coming here for many years and also has many strong connections with locals. I chose Mr.Chen because on the Linden Center website, Mr.Chen is described as the person who is always looking for a bargain, which in many ways would relate to the financial side of buying and selling antiques. I chose Ms.B because she is interested in social media, which, in ways, could relate to the antique market that exists online. Below are some helpful resources that I got from the 3-to-5's.


  • Mr.Du, an antique collector with many antiques in his house
  • Mr.Yang and Ms.Ma, antique shop owners
  • Any antique shops in general
  • Brian and Jeanee Linden, big time antique collectors with a very large collection of antiques


  • Mr.Du
  • Lao Mao, an antique shop owner
  • Mr.Yang and Ms.Ma
  • A weekend market outside of Xizhou where many people exchange antiques
  • Mr.Tafel, an antique collector
  • Brian and Jeanee Linden


  • Mr.Tafel
  • Brian and Jeanee Linden
  • Lao Mao
  • Mr.Yang and Ms.Ma
  • Mr.Du


  • Mr.Du
  • Mr.Yang and Ms.Ma
  • Brian and Jeanee Linden

Looking at this, Mr.Du, the Lindens, Mr.Yang, and Ms.Ma seem like they would be very good sources and would be extremely helpful to my research given the fact that all four people who participated in my 3-to-5's suggested them.

In addition to all of these sources, another great source would be the Linden Library. At this point, I have already borrowed a book regarding antique porcelain, however, as I start to narrow my topic down into a specific type of antique that I am interested in, I will be sure to visit the library again to see if there are any books that relate specifically to my chosen antique.

Now that I have finished my 3-to-5's and have found many helpful resources I will now try to interview these people. In my interviews, I hope to learn some more about my topic. The things I learn will be put down in my Phase 3 work.

I was part of the Microcampus Voyager group and I had an amazing time! Microcampus was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. My topic for the Inquiry Project was antiques and collectibles and I encourage any future Microcampus students to look into this topic. If any students in the future need my help, feel free to contact me at and I will be happy to help! Good luck to future Microcampus students! Sam