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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 7, February 15, 2009, Article 16

NUMISMATIC LITERATURE INVENTORY SHEETS

Last week, Ray Williams asked:
Does anyone have a numismatic literature inventory spreadsheet that works well for them?


Doug Mudd writes:
As for a good software program for numismatic literature, I use Filemaker Pro - you create the fields you want and they are all searchable and the list can be ordered by any field or sequence of fields you like. I use title, author, type (in my case, numismatic vs military history or other subject areas), category (within numismatics), period, binding (hardbound, paperbound etc.), price (the price I paid, generally), and if it is a 1st edition. If you want to get advanced with it, you can do all sorts of things - add images, create labels, etc.


Scott Semans writes:
I use MS-Excel. My own structure is not appropriate for most non-dealers, as it includes customer, and sales record data, but the basic fields are: Author, Title (including variant spellings and transliterations for foreign languages), Description (# pages, binding, print date, edition, comments), Content coding, and I would add: Date Acquired (with "wanted" or a unique symbol for want-list items not yet acquired, to generate a want-list), and Cost (to help when time for owner or heirs to sell).

Some will want to separate page count and other features into separate fields, but I've found no disadvantage to lumping them all together. The content coding is what makes the database more useful in doing detailed research than a simple word search, and it encourages the coder to think critically about contents. I assign this from a reading or in-depth skim on acquiring a book or reading a good review, using a made-up "country codes" listing which can be expanded and modified to cover either broad or minutely detailed subject matter. It is the same coding I use to abbreviate customers' collecting and research interests, organize my stock, and name web-pages.

If eBay and auction firms used something similar as prefix to standard reference numbers, it could both organize the contents of an auction, and enable bidders to locate very specific items, or broad ranges using what amounts to a numismatic universal search term. The code list is public domain and I will be glad to send out copies.




Wayne Homren, Editor

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