December 04, 2023

Colfax man officially has world’s largest pencil collection at 69,255

Guinness World Records confirms public count, which took 2 days to complete

Aaron Bartholmey, a pencil collector from Colfax, speaks with guests at a July event at the Colfax Historical Society & Museum. As part of the event, Bartholmey held a public count of his massive collection to be submitted to Guinness World Records.

Aaron Bartholmey, of Colfax, can now officially say he has the largest pencil collection in the whole world. After a prolonged public counting event in July, Guinness World Records has now confirmed the count at 69,225 pencils. Bartholmey has been collecting pencils ever since he was in first grade.

“I am very excited about breaking the record,” Bartholmey told Newton News in a follow-up on Nov. 13. “When I started looking into the possibility of breaking the record, the requirements looked pretty daunting and I didn’t think I’d be able to get everything pulled together.”

Even after he coordinated the counting event — which also gave him an opportunity to show off his other pencil-related items in his collection, like pencil boxes and a pencil vending machine — he was not sure if the evidence submitted would be enough to satisfy the officials at Guinness.

“So I was thrilled to learn that I had been approved and am now the official record holder,” Bartholmey said, later noting he pulled together roughly 17 hours of video clips, plus his personal database, witness statements and more. With all the effort put into the attempt, he was relieved to learn it had paid off.

It has been about five months since the count, and Bartholmey is still adding pencils to his collection. Although he does not know how many, his collection continues to grow. Ever since his world record attempt made the news, several people have reached out to him to contribute their pencils.

“This has ranged from a couple in the mail to meeting some folks in person and hauling a few boxes out of their garage. I’ve really never had a set goal in mind with my collection, and I don’t think that’s changed now. I just want to continue having fun with the hobby, and I’ll keep picking up pencils wherever I find them!”

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.