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Old 28th July 2021, 09:55 AM   #1
Bill M
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Default Software for Collection of artifacts and valuables?

Over the last 30 years, we have been collecting artifacts. For insurance purposes, we need to have/create a database that delineates each article, incorporates pictures, descriptions, etc.

We have about 1,000 items that need to be sorted and each item marked.

I have a rough start. I made a list of all the items for insurance purposes. Brief description and have many images and many images are keyed to the item. Many of the items had a small stick on labels. and they fell off.

But all this is just paper, handwritten lists.

I want to have a flexible system that can show each item. A system that can mark each item individually.

Please help me find a database/system? For the PC.
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Old 28th July 2021, 10:03 AM   #2
Iain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
Over the last 30 years, we have been collecting artifacts. For insurance purposes, we need to have/create a database that delineates each article, incorporates pictures, descriptions, etc.

We have about 1,000 items that need to be sorted and each item marked.

I have a rough start. I made a list of all the items for insurance purposes. Brief description and have many images and many images are keyed to the item. Many of the items had a small stick on labels. and they fell off.

But all this is just paper, handwritten lists.

I want to have a flexible system that can show each item. A system that can mark each item individually.

Please help me find a database/system? For the PC.
There are quite a few systems out there for managing collections (mainly art) , some are paid subscription services while some like this appear to be free to collectors (https://www.portovenereart.com/#!/home). I can't vouch for any of these but they may prove useful.
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Old 28th July 2021, 10:44 AM   #3
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I use an Excel table to list my pieces and give each of them a number which depends from the item category. For example, a dagger could have the number D0103.
For each piece I made some photos I save together with the Excel table in a folder. The pictures have the item number + the picture number as name, for example D0103_1 for the first picture of a dagger.
Not the most elegant way, but it works and you can use all the functions of Excel.

Regards
Robin
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Old 28th July 2021, 10:58 AM   #4
Bill M
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Ian, I am looking at your suggestion. Free to collectors. A bit overkill for me. I am looking for an inventory number, description, image (could be multiples), from who I purchased it, and when.

Gonzoadler, I like the simplicity of excel and downloaded a few templates. CHecking to see how to embed images.

I guess I can attach labels with zip ties? Other ideas. I have seen some museum tags are painted in tiny numbers on the items in unobtrusive areas.
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Old 28th July 2021, 11:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
Ian, I am looking at your suggestion. Free to collectors. A bit overkill for me. I am looking for an inventory number, description, image (could be multiples), from who I purchased it, and when.

Gonzoadler, I like the simplicity of excel and downloaded a few templates. CHecking to see how to embed images.

I guess I can attach labels with zip ties? Other ideas. I have seen some museum tags are painted in tiny numbers on the items in unobtrusive areas.
In this case pretty much any gallery software will work. Depends if you want it only sitting on your local PC, personally I prefer to keep things cloud based as it removes the issue of hardware failure locally.
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Old 28th July 2021, 12:42 PM   #6
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You can also look at freewares for libairies, books, coins, stamps, wine...
It will work for weapons too.
My advice, take something simple to use otherwise you will never use it.
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Old 28th July 2021, 02:55 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Use something simple to use otherwise you will never use it

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Originally Posted by Kubur View Post
My advice, take something simple to use otherwise you will never use it.
This is, in my opinion, excellent advice. About a decade ago I built a Microsoft Access database and for about a year I was diligent in documenting my accessions in it along with images, saved sales pages, etc. I never did work backwards in completing it and fell out of using it when the particular computer it resided in developed issues. Presently, I am using old fashioned paper in file folders. Lew had, for a good time, given his accessions a sequential number and documented what each was and what he thought it was worth in a bound notebook. This proved very useful to his family upon his untimely passing.
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Old 28th July 2021, 04:28 PM   #8
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Default Keep it Simple ... but with all the information you need

Lee,

I recently had to catalogue all my items before shipping them to Australia. This was necessary for insurance purposes, to deal with Australian Customs officials, and to navigate the strict laws in Australia regarding documentation of edged weapons and their ownership. Since I had over a thousand pieces to itemize, it was necessary to have a simple software system for my records and a corresponding tag for each item that identified its catalog number and linked it to my records.

For digital records, I chose to use a series of Excel spreadsheets, with each sheet denoting a particular geographical region or country. These spreadsheets were collected into two workbooks, one for Philippine items and one for everything else.

Because I have more items from the Philippines than anywhere else, I broke these into geographic or ethnic groups, with individual spreadsheets for Moro (MOR), Lumad (LUM), Visayan (VIS), and Luzon (LUZ). For the second workbook I had individual spreadsheets for: Africa (AFR), Mediterranean (MED), India/South Asia (IND), Mainland SE Asia (MSEA), Indonesia (INDO), China (CHI), European (EUR), South American (SAM), and Miscellaneous (MISC).

Each item was given a number and tag. Within each category, items were numbered sequentially in order of their date of acquisition. For example, the Moro collection was numbered MOR1001 to MOR1112, the South American items SAM1001 to SAM1054, etc.

Each spreadsheet had columns for:
  1. Catalogue No.
  2. Date of Acquisition
  3. How Acquired [1 = Antique Shop, Dealer Estate sale, Gun show; 2 = eBay; 3 = Other Online Site; 4 = Auction; 5 = Collector/Private Sale; 7 = Traded Item; 9 = Other (inherited, gift, etc.)]
  4. General Description
  5. Dimensions
  6. Total cost [item + postage/insurance/customs duty, etc.]
  7. Current Valuation
  8. Date of Sale
  9. Purchaser's Name and Address
  10. Total Sale Price [including postage, insurance]
  11. Costs Incurred [repairs, postage, insurance, packaging, etc.]
  12. Net Sale
  13. Profit/(Loss)
  14. Thumbnail Picture of Item
  15. Notes/References/Special Features
It took three months to completely catalogue and photograph all my items. The effort was worth it when dealing with the Australian bureaucracy!

The financial data are important because i doubt that I will have disposed of all these items before my demise and I don't want my wife and kids to have a big problem with them. I've arranged that whatever is left over (and they don't want to keep) will go to auction with my valuation as the minimum price for each item.

There is also the issue of my book collection relating to edged weapons. The books will be sold online, hopefully here in the Swap Forum. Each book has been catalogued in a similar manner to the weapons.
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Old 28th July 2021, 04:55 PM   #9
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Have a look at this site with which I have listetd and pictured my whole collection. It is very easy to handle and the German word should easily to be understood

"www.sammlersoftware.de"
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Old 28th July 2021, 05:47 PM   #10
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Ian,

You got me thinking and happy to say, the database had been transferred to the successor machine and I was just now able to start it up without 'incident.' There was a lot of forgotten enlightenment in the forty or so records I had created and it should not be too difficult to add some of the fields you suggest.

I think perhaps I need to dedicate a specified number of hours each week to getting these records in order. I think I'll build the electronic and the paper out in parallel.

A particularly pleasant memory:
Attached Images
 
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Old 29th July 2021, 09:33 AM   #11
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Lee,

Great news! That saves you a lot of work to recreate the files. I remember you posted that yari a while back. It still looks great.

In retrospect, I could have done a relational data base instead of Excel workbooks. However, I know Excel much better than any of the data base software, and I can add or hide/delete information easily.

As far as allocating regular time, I found that was essential. Because of a time crunch to move back to Australia, I had to devote four hours a day for three months to get it done. The photography took a huge amount of time, even using a digital camera.



corrado26,

Thanks for the link. I will check it out.
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Old 29th July 2021, 12:51 PM   #12
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Corrado26,

That software looks good, but unfortunately it is only for a PC and I'm a Mac guy.

Ian.
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Old 30th July 2021, 05:21 PM   #13
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This is a rather interesting topic, in all its angles.
As a basic need to keep an inventory of a collection, be it a large one or a pocket size like mine, i still stick to the excell sheet option, as approached a couple years back when we discussed the subject.


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...14&postcount=7
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Old 3rd August 2021, 12:03 PM   #14
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I have set up an inventory for a client on this software and it takes a little getting used to but once you use it a few times, its pretty easy and very organized. They do charge a monthly fee or annual but for large collections I think it's worth the money. https://www.artworkarchive.com/
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Old 31st August 2021, 03:07 AM   #15
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Default Flash Drive

Hi All,

I am using a 128GB (larger ones are available) flash drive that can be plugged into my i-phone via a lightning connection on on end or my Mac computer via a USB connection on the other end. This allows me to transport my database to remote locations (antique shows, flea markets, garage sales, etc). There are flash drives like mine that are IBM and Android compatible. I am using a simple Mac program called Pages which allows for text and photos in one document.

My database is arranged in folders and sub folders in a hierarchy in alphabetical order as follows:
General Geographical Area (Africa, Asia, Europe, etc)
General Item Type (Dha, Khukri, Takouba, Z Misc Knives, etc)
Specific Item Type (Arm Dagger, Flyssa, Hua Tat, Keris, Kris, etc)
Specific Geographical Area (Bali, Sumatra, etc) where applicable
Specific Item Features (Iron Pommel, One Piece Baca Baca, etc) where applicable

The individual item documents (Pages) are contained in the last subfolder. Each document has a brief descriptive title. I find that this arrangement allows me to quickly and easily find items in my collection in order to compare them to prospective items for sale. The documents contain a photo of the item and a description which includes information about the piece (blade length, hilt material, sheath material, etc), date purchased, price, location, dealer (sometimes). My entire inventory takes up only a tiny fraction of the flash drive memory so, if I wished to have multiple photos of each item, I could easily do so. Newly purchased items are easily added to the database.

Sincerely,
Rob T
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