Documenting Your Collection
Up a Level Photographing How-To-Shoot Common Errors

This page is strictly for the compulsive organizers among you. Please feel free to click on to the values page if you're not.

For your glassmaster, however, to catalog is to live and shot collecting provides ample opportunities. Cataloging is usually driven by one of two compulsions. The first is as a way keeping track of values, since this allows the collector to determine how much their collection is worth and how much their investment has appreciated even while the stock market was tanking. The second is to catalog simply because they are there. The latter seems to be a distinctly male trait, although I'm sure there are exceptions. However, even as a teenager my male friends and I were kept busy logging our new LP's on index cards, something that our dates could never understand. Whatever the driving forces, here's some ideas about documenting a collection. For ideas on how to photograph glasses, click on the link to the following page.

First, one has to decide what needs to be documented, and that very much depends on the needs of the individual. Some may document by state, some by the picture (person, animal, bird etc.), some by the type of glass. The database hopes to become the ultimate catalog and hence uses a simple system based on what's actually written on the glass.

Deciding what to document is relatively easy; the most difficult aspect of documentation is choosing the medium upon which they are to be recorded. An ordinary scrapbook or photo album is fine but in the age of computers, some form of electronic catalog is preferable. Especially since we hope that you might be persuaded to contribute details of your glasses to the database! Several options are available, but the following are presented because we assume that that you'll be wanting to include a digital photo (see the next page for ideas on how to do this).

lA word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. Each glass can be logged into a separate page or row of a table and then a photo can be pasted in alongside the listing.

lA spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheet columns can be titled "Label", "State", "Size" or other feature of interest and then each row of the spreadsheet accommodates a single glass.

lA database program such as Filemaker Pro. Available in both PC and Mac-compatible versions, it can be configured to meet your specific requirements.

lA bibliography program such as EndNote. Although this program is readily available, it may not be an obvious choice unless it's one that you've already run across. I use it at work for creating lists of references when writing scientific papers for publication. At its heart it's actually a database program and it readily lends itself to cataloging glasses. I like it because I can find a glass in a single keystroke regardless of the size of the catalog. It was used to create all of the Midacore databases here at The downside to both this program and Filemaker Pro (above) is that their prices have escalated with their level of sophistication (now ca. $300). Thus, unless you already have them on your desktop it may not be sensible to acquire them for collecting purposes alone.

lA collector-specific program. There are tens, if not hundreds of these available. Many appear regularly on eBay, touting themselves as programs for shot glass collectors or programs for beanie baby collectors (e.g. "five star collector" program). They typically sell $10-$15 and they're quite adequate for most needs.

Suggestions Welcomed

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