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Book Collector's Meeting Room Whether you're an experienced collector or just starting out, this is the place to discuss Anne's books in all their various bindings, languages, and cover art.

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Old Aug 26 2009, 06:22 PM   #1
sjslack
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Default Keeping Track - Take Two

So back in 2007(!) I made a thread on here called 'Keeping Track', where I asked the wonderfully patient members of MoM how they kept track of the collectable books that they'd managed to purchase. Some time ago, I created a number of Excell databases that listed exactly what I had.

After taking a look at them this evening...they're not adequate.

I was wondering for those people who do have extensive collections (Hans, Cheryl, etc, I'm looking at you guys!) how do you keep the databases neat? What I mean by that is, what sort of information do you put into the databases, and do you have separate ones for Anthologies / 1st editions / Magazines, etc?

I'm going back to hay On Wye in a couple of weeks, and want to sort out my collection before then. >.>;

Any and all input would be more than welcome so that I can make these as efficient and user-friendly as possible.
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Old Aug 26 2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

I, um, have fabulous plans to start a database of my collection once my kids start school full time in about a week. So yeah, I'm not much help. But maybe some since I have plans.

I plan to use Excel, since it's so easy to add a new column of info whenever of I think of something new to keep track of. All books will go together, be they novels/anthologies/omnibus/etc, but I'll have a column to indicate those types so I can sort by that if I want. Magazines will probably go on a separate tab of the same file.

Some things I'll want to track, since I have multiples of many books, will include edition/printing, cover artist, country published in.

I'm probably going to start with a cleared copy of Hans's collecting spreadsheet, and make any needed modifications from there. I'm sure he'd share with anyone that asked!
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Old Aug 26 2009, 10:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

I use Excell too. It's easy to manipulate like Cheryl said. Easy to sort by alphabet or by publish year, whatever you want.
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Old Aug 27 2009, 02:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

I'm using Excel, too for my AMC colelction but for my overall I built a Microsoft Access database in 2000.

Excel is easy to use and the auto filter system is so handy that you don't actually need to build or buy a custom database provided you don't want to go into Library Quality Registration.

I register: a unique number, Series, Title, Publisher, Year of publication, Cover artist and (if applicable) translator in one field, ISBN and a field with remarks (where bought, price, signed, inscribed etc.).

First I had one sheet but when the collection grew I needed more (you can easily make more than the standard three and change their name in the tab at the bottom of the screen). I now have an Excel sheet for every seperate langage I have Pern books in, for magazines, for books with Pern short stories, for article copies and for non-Pern books.

It's a McCaffrey database so Anne and Todd's books are in it.
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Last edited by Hans; Aug 28 2009 at 02:35 AM.
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Old Aug 27 2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Although I only have a humble collection of around 50 McCaffrey books, my collection is growing fast and I have to keep track of mine. I don't have a database yet, so I do it the old fashion way on paper. I have writen all over Becky's Guide and Phil S-P Biblio, checking or adding my books and making notes (signed, inscripted, bookplate, ex-lib that needs to be replaced, true first ed., price, where it was bought, and the date of purchase,etc.). They are very easy to take with me when I travel. I hope you post about your trip to Hay on Wye and show off your purchases!
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Old Aug 27 2009, 11:12 PM   #6
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QUOTE - "I have writen all over Becky's Guide and Phil S-P Biblio, checking or adding my books and making notes (signed, inscripted, bookplate, ex-lib that needs to be replaced, true first ed., price, where it was bought, and the date of purchase,etc.). "

That's EXACTLY why the Guide was created! It was my first record of my collection too and worked well for quite a while. I notated on every page, the notes section and backs of each page too. I finally created the Excel sheet and that made it easier. I think my categories are almost the same as the ones I put in the Guide too. I just have the title of the book and then put the different edition information under each title.
Hans' database sounds wonderful but it's more than I want or feel I need. He, on the other hand, definitely needs that sort of thing to keep his collection manageable.
You can pretty much do whatever you want with a spredsheet so start playing around with whatever type of program you have and have fun!
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Old Aug 27 2009, 11:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

I also have mine on excell...but I finally ask Martin do it for me(more his cup of tea than mine is). It's much easier now to keep track of all of my collection. Good Luck with your *Paper*, hope it turns out fantasticly well.
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Old Aug 28 2009, 06:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Becky - I use both your guide and a database. -Chuckles- The guide will come with me for a second trip to Hay on Wye next month, as it did last year (and proved invaluable, I might add!).

The current sections I have are:

Title/Item / Edition / Publisher / Year / HB/PB / ISBN / Condition / Price Paid / Notes

I was thinking of adding a small image for each thing as well. I tend to do better when can recognise a picture rather than having to look at all the actual info. ^^;
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Old Aug 28 2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

oops, I forgot the column/field for the kind of book (hc, mmp, tpb etc.) , like you also listed. I have that too

if you want to spare yourself some typing... you can copy/paste from this http://www.pern.nl/library/collection_pern.html

and here if you want the athologies, too http://www.pern.nl/library/collection_pernstories.html

and oh, here are the non Pern books: http://www.pern.nl/library/collection_amc.html

and as per remark by JJ mouse I started a list with misscellaneous items (not finished yet): http://www.pern.nl/library/collectio...ellaneous.html
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Old Aug 30 2009, 08:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Excel isn't a database. It's a spreadsheet.

For my books - not McCaffrey, but all books - I have an Access database. Sorting, filtering and querying in Access is just as easy, if not easier, than in Excel. You can also export to Excel if you need some of those features instead.

I find it much cleaner.
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Old Aug 30 2009, 10:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Shalyn, the basis for your Access database is an ordinary (Excel) spreadsheet.

Close the switchboard and open the window behind it and you're looking at a spreadsheet I find sorting in Excel easier. The advantage of Acces is that you can build your own switchboard and can make/define buttons with queries and such. So if you use/want those an Access database is the thing.

In addition: Microsoft doesn't include Access in their regular Office packages anymore, you have to buy it seperately. So for most people Excel will be easier and more obtainable because it is in their Office suite.
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Old Aug 31 2009, 01:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

As an Open Source friend i use OpenOffice.orgs Calc for things like that.
I haven't created my McCaffrey database yet, so thanks for the hints so far.

One thing i'm not sure how to do it is to "assign" inividual IDs/tags to the books.
I certainly don't want to label them in library style but haven't come up with an better idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Microsoft doesn't include Access in their regular Office packages anymore, you have to buy it seperately.
I haven't worked with it in a while but OpenOffice.orgs Base should propably be similarily usable as Access and - as well as OpenOffice Calc - comes for free.

It can be downloaded from - you might have guessed it - : www.openoffice.org
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Old Aug 31 2009, 04:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Open Office calc is the equivalent of a spreadsheet program (the also free Star Officce also has one).

However, the Open Office version of a database program is: BASE, with which I haven't worked, so can't give any recommendations.
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Old Sep 2 2009, 09:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Just a quick question...(Shards, I did IT at GCSE level and can't remember much!), if I wanted to sort Alphabetically, how do I ensure that the rows of info are locked together, and don't just jumble up when I try to go Alphabetically by title?
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Old Sep 2 2009, 11:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Select the whole spreadsheet, then tab over to to column you want to sort by, then tell it to sort.
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Old Sep 2 2009, 11:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Thanks Cheryl!

I currently have my McCaffrey collection in piles on the floor...I keep finding stuff I forgot I had. xD
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Old Sep 7 2009, 09:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

That is one of the fun parts of having quite a few pieces in your collection...you forget about some of the items, and get to re-find it and enjoy it again. Hope your having fun sorting all of your collection into your new data base.
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Old Sep 8 2009, 04:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Well, thus far it's taken me a whopping 11 hours of solid sorting-out! I've more or less finished now though. (Thankfully!)

For anyone interested, here are the different categories I used:

Title / Item
Edition
Publisher
Year
HB / PB
ISBN
Condition
Price Paid
Notes

As well as that, I took a photo of everything and uploaded them onto Photobucket, then added a hyperlink to each of them, instead of having the actual image on the Excel page, making it clunky. ^_^
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Old Nov 12 2009, 05:47 AM   #19
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2cent Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Yay, I found it... this thread I mean. I knew I saw it somewhere. I'm just geting ready to start cataloging my collection (now that I have Becky's wonderful guide - Thanks Becky!) This thread has been extremely helpful to me, so thanks guys! And Hans - those links are great, and I knew of course that you collection was impressive, but WOW... it really is very impressive...
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Old Nov 12 2009, 01:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Keeping Track - Take Two

Thank you Samsara. Things did get a bit out of hand...
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