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How do you catalog your collection

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My collecting goal for this year is to fully catalog my entire collection with all the information I know about the item and it's provenance along with a photo. Was wondering if anyone uses any digital program to do this and if so which ones. Or if anyone had any tips and tricks on the best way to do this type of project. Really want a digital record as well as something I can print out and keep in a binder. Figured I would ask before I recreated the wheel.

 

Ken


"No staff officer has ever won a battle though they have been responsible for losing a few."

 

"One of the serious problems in planning against American Doctrine is that the American do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine" Apocryphal quote attributed equally to a WWII German officer and Cold War Era Soviet Doctrine

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Excel file, description, cost, notes, picture add a column for sell price if you flip stuff.

just ensure you make your descriptions clear

I do USN Patches with USS 'fullname" Hull number , a division or deptmartent or cruise etc.

 

USS Saratoga CVA 60 V1 division, 22.00, Japanese Manf.,

 

or for a WW2 US Army patch

 

101st ID White tongue green back, 84.00, with tab

 

hope this helps


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Ultimately this is what I'd like to do with my Desert Shield/Storm patch collection as well. Yes, it was fun acquiring and it's still on going, but with over 1500 individual pieces ... I'm looking at some work. Yes, excel spread sheet, and I may have to recruit a little expertise to get me started as I'm not that crafty.


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I "primarily" collect Gulf War 1 patches. All branches (USA, USAF,USN, USMC & USCG) and ALL Countries..
US - Op.'s Desert Shield / Storm / Provide Comfort /Some Southern Watch - F-4G's Wild Weasels
UK - Op.'s Granby / Sabre / Warden
Canadian - Op. Desert Storm / Op. Friction
French - Daguet / Aconit
Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, South Korea, etc.
Looking for the oddities, including unfinished & flaws
I HAVE EXTRA's!! Will trade as well.

 

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Excel file, description, cost, notes, picture add a column for sell price if you flip stuff.

just ensure you make your descriptions clear

I do USN Patches with USS 'fullname" Hull number , a division or deptmartent or cruise etc.

 

USS Saratoga CVA 60 V1 division, 22.00, Japanese Manf.,

 

or for a WW2 US Army patch

 

101st ID White tongue green back, 84.00, with tab

 

hope this helps

 

 

that's similar to way I did mine. I call it the 'speadsheet of death' because it can only be opened by my wife upon my death or she'll probably kill me for what I've spent over the years...


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Same here - excel spreadsheet. It's fairly simple - name of item, description, where I got it, amount paid, estimated value if I need to sell. No photos though, but you can import photos into Excel. It definitely takes some time if you didnt do most of it from the beginning, so my advice would be to start with the bigger, more valuable items.

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My collecting goal for this year is to fully catalog my entire collection with all the information I know about the item and it's provenance along with a photo. Was wondering if anyone uses any digital program to do this and if so which ones. Or if anyone had any tips and tricks on the best way to do this type of project. Really want a digital record as well as something I can print out and keep in a binder. Figured I would ask before I recreated the wheel.

 

Ken

I had the same ambition a few years ago. And one of these days I'm going to start on it.

 

Actually I did make a start (and stop, and start, and stop) using Excel as others suggested.

 

Though my collection is rather small compared to some others around here, it proved to be a daunting task that I never was able to get momentum for.

 

Hope you have more success!

 

Mikie


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that's similar to way I did mine. I call it the 'speadsheet of death' because it can only be opened by my wife upon my death or she'll probably kill me for what I've spent over the years...

 

Haha, I like that. It is amazing even small items how much they add up to $ spent over the years. I hardly buy much compared to most guys because I try to keep my focus to such a narrow field and even I was surprised the other day when I updated my spreadsheet and saw the amount at the bottom. Then again, how much do people spend on golf, bar tabs or even cigars and cigarettes over the course of years? and those have nothing to show for financially afterwards

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You may want to consider using a powerpoint presentation for catalog purposes. That is what I use.

 

Basically, I set up a powerpoint presentation for each time period that I have (OIF, Vietnam War, WW2, etc.) and then have individual pieces on separate slides. This allows photos of each object as well as some text which can list important details about the object. For example, on the powerpoint presentation titled, " Vietnam War", I have slides of all my VN pieces. Also, in order to more easily group everything in the time period, I insert category slides (cloth insignia, metal insignia, field gear, etc.). It takes a bit of time to set it up, but it has worked very well so far for me.


 

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Haha, I like that. It is amazing even small items how much they add up to $ spent over the years. I hardly buy much compared to most guys because I try to keep my focus to such a narrow field and even I was surprised the other day when I updated my spreadsheet and saw the amount at the bottom. Then again, how much do people spend on golf, bar tabs or even cigars and cigarettes over the course of years? and those have nothing to show for financially afterwards

 

 

:) I had to do a calculation for collector insurance so she's got a good ballpark figure now but not the facts all the way lol ...but you're correct, I don't want to think about the money I wasted years ago on cigarettes and booze [gave em both up years ago for health reasons] but I'm sure that would be a significant amount of dough there too -at least this is a legacy worth more than a pile of butts and empty cans...


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Like many, I use an Excel spreadsheet. I also put item #'s with each item in the spreadsheet and then photograph the item with the item # as part of the picture file name. Good descriptions and numbered items/pictures really help me keep track of things. Just make sure to keep a backup copy of your files in the cloud or on a thumb drive kept in a fire safe.


Collecting early US Army headgear and uniforms.



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Like many here I use an Excel Spreadsheet. I have separate tabs for each category, Uniforms, Medals, Groups, Headgear, etc.

 

I assign a consecutive number starting with the tab initial, so for example M-1 is the first medal listed, U-30 is the thirtieth uniform listed, and so on.

 

I then have a small paper tag attached to the item with string with that number listed. There is also a corresponding file folder with any associated documentation, such as; award certificates, photographs, bills of sale, etc.

 

In addition, I have a computer folder with digital photographs of each item with the file named with the item number.

 

If there are multiple items under the same number, such as a set of medals or a uniform with a hat I have another level of numbering under the main number, so a uniform with hat might be U-30-1 and U-30-2.

 

In the spreadsheet I list the following for each item:

 

Tracking Number

Sub--Tracking Number

Description

Purchase / Acquisition Date

Paid

Purchased / Acquired From

Comments

Disposition (sold or gifted to)

Sold For

Estimated Current Value

 

The main reason I keep this information is some someday my children will have some idea of what everything is and what it might be worth to them as they do not seem to have much interest in collecting militaria.

 

I generally try to update things when I purchase or sell an item, or occasionally when something seems to have changed value significantly, although I will admit I am not as diligent as I should be.

 

I backup the files every six months and put a copy on a flash drive my oldest son keeps at his house.


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Like many here I use an Excel Spreadsheet. I have separate tabs for each category, Uniforms, Medals, Groups, Headgear, etc.

 

I assign a consecutive number starting with the tab initial, so for example M-1 is the first medal listed, U-30 is the thirtieth uniform listed, and so on.

 

I then have a small paper tag attached to the item with string with that number listed. There is also a corresponding file folder with any associated documentation, such as; award certificates, photographs, bills of sale, etc.

 

In addition, I have a computer folder with digital photographs of each item with the file named with the item number.

 

If there are multiple items under the same number, such as a set of medals or a uniform with a hat I have another level of numbering under the main number, so a uniform with hat might be U-30-1 and U-30-2.

 

In the spreadsheet I list the following for each item:

 

Tracking Number

Sub--Tracking Number

Description

Purchase / Acquisition Date

Paid

Purchased / Acquired From

Comments

Disposition (sold or gifted to)

Sold For

Estimated Current Value

 

The main reason I keep this information is some someday my children will have some idea of what everything is and what it might be worth to them as they do not seem to have much interest in collecting militaria.

 

I generally try to update things when I purchase or sell an item, or occasionally when something seems to have changed value significantly, although I will admit I am not as diligent as I should be.

 

I backup the files every six months and put a copy on a flash drive my oldest son keeps at his house.

Sounds like you read too many Military Tech manuals, I remember the parts lists.... A1.A.B.C.D.R127....

 


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I use both Excel and Powerpoint. I keep an Excel spreadsheet of most of my items with a description of what it is and a value, etc. I then have a Powerpoint with images that supplements the spreadsheet.

 

I will admit that I am behind!

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All thanks for the replies really appreciate your responses, have defiantly given me some ideas as I start this project. Wish I had started this from the beginning but on a positive note it gives me a reason to go back and pick up and thoroughly examine each item in my collection which I have not done in a while.


"No staff officer has ever won a battle though they have been responsible for losing a few."

 

"One of the serious problems in planning against American Doctrine is that the American do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine" Apocryphal quote attributed equally to a WWII German officer and Cold War Era Soviet Doctrine

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Sounds like you read too many Military Tech manuals, I remember the parts lists.... A1.A.B.C.D.R127....

 

 

Its the engineer in me, lol.


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