The thread about the collection for sale got me thinking about how best to manage a collection. I suspect there are more than a few of you out there that are hyper-organized. I am thinking of Ed Storey for example, who seems to come up with wonderful, detailed photos and quick answers on most any artifact.
My methodology is somewhat detailed, but probably not as efficient as it could be. I keep a catalogue in MS Access for all my militaria acquisitions that allows me to search quickly and identify potential holes in the overall collection. I catalogue by item name, country, NSN, manufacturer, size, condition, price, purchase place and price. What I don't do (yet) is photograph items in a consistent way as it appears Ed does.
I don't catalogue my books which sometimes leads to duplicates. And the paper bits are really hard to manage.
My girls gave me a brass plaque engraved "Army Museum" so at least I am officialy recognized by some important people. They forgot about the Navy and Air Force bits though.
Ed, after visiting your place a couple of months ago I have to say that you do an amazing job locating items in your collection storage zone. My collection is a fraction of yours and I misplace stuff all the time.... well done on your part. Mind you, you do have a very extensive collection of photos of your stuff that is quite impressive as well and is something that I would like to emulate.
Display everything!!!!!...this way you'll see it all and know where it's at..lol, just kidding.
I keep an excel spreadsheet file with my collection carefully identified for insurance purposes.
I keep small items such as badges, pins patches etc in small transparent Tupperware storage bin with sectional dividers
You can find these at craft stores. for $5
For larger items like belts, webbing etc..get the med' sized transparent Tupperware bins from Wal-Mart. (around 24" x 15"?) with a itemized list of the contents tapes to the top of the box. It makes it so much more easier when looking for that one item
They are cheap and can be stacked on top of each other if you are tight on space, I stack four high ($9 each)
A good friend of mine who collects shoulder titles, buys specialized plastic hockey card pages (The old "Parkhurst cards or Tall boys are perfect, but you have to find them as a card collectors store)
He then has four patches per page and puts them in a large three ringed binders.
As for books I have around 75 books so it's not too bad..but they are kept on a bookshelves where I can see them.
All my uniforms or hats are on display.