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Author Topic:   Record keeping

Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-06-1999 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been spending my spare hours for the last week designing a new database for my collection. Unfortunately, my 14 year old has decided it is time for father to sink or swim, so I have been doing battle with MS Access on my own. I would be interested to hear from other collectors about their record keeping. How is it organized? What sort of information? Did you develope your own program or is there something on the market that would have spared me this ordeal?

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Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 08-06-1999 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spend a lot of time programming in Access at work, and I can sympathize. To really utilize Access fully, you have to know the VBA programming language; the various wizardsand macros just don't cut it. Unfortunately, the only good way to learn Access is to look at how other people have programmed things, and borrow their code. You can purchase huge libraries of code if you are so inclined, but it only makes sense for professionals. Anyway, if you have any Access questions, drop me a line and I will see if I can help. Good Luck!

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-07-1999 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent -

Any chance you could post some recommendations on what is the best approach to adding photos of ones collection to an Access Form and/or Report?

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M H Bradshaw

Posts: 32
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-07-1999 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for M H Bradshaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My computer came with MS Works, which is a combination data base, spread sheet & word processing program. I wrote an inventory data base in only a couple of very frustrating days (Previously, I'd used a data base on DOS, but this was completely different). I'm still refining the printouts that I update periodically.

I input data in about 14-15 fields: Pattern, Maker, Quantity, Item, Description, Length, Weight, Monogram, Retailer or other marks, Date Acquired, Provenance, Cost, Replacement Value, Standard & Disposition. Additionally, I have codes & subcodes to signify the type of flatware, i.e. spoons or serving pieces, so I can run a listing by Pattern or by Type. Because I collect floral flatware place settings, I'm constantly adding to the inventory and I have a form, made up with the above fields, that I fill in when I get a new piece of silver. Every month or so, I input the data from the forms, and then attach the form to my receipt. Let me know if I can provide more detailed help.

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Bob and Carol Carnighan

Posts: 63
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-08-1999 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob and Carol Carnighan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We do pretty much the same think using Paradox. Paradox is sold by Corel and can be found bundled with Word Perfect. The included Wizards are good enough to get you started. We have used Paradox for about 6 years and chose it because we like Word Perfect. We don't know if it is any better or worse that the other data base management systems. Good luck.

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Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-08-1999 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the various responses on the board and in private. After a bit of trial and error, I think I managed to put together a workable database. I made up half a dozen test versions with linked tables, sub-tables and queries, etc, but finally settled on a single table format. I collect federal era coin and am primarily interested in the development of forms and regional styles. I have about 500 pieces by 200 makers with few item multiples. I am treating each unit (single or multiple) as a discrete entity, rather than as one of several by the same maker or in the same pattern. The form I have laid out has my base code (a cipher of price and purchase date) and a fairly detailed descriptive breakdown of the piece: item type, mark, makers, bio, working locations & dates, and details of item structure. Each of these has various additional detail fields. This allows me to see a complete physical and biographic description of a single item on a single form. I can then query the main table by, say, location, shoulder form, and date and get a list of all the makers that match that sort. Now all I have to do is type in all the records (groan) and I will be set. Time for a glass of Merlot...

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Cheryl and Richard

Posts: 154
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 08-09-1999 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cheryl and Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About a year ago we got Access and, after learning about it, transferred our other inventory files over; begun in Lotus 1 2 3, they had moved to Excel a few years earlier.
The column headings were retained, and continue to be sufficient for our purposes:
Acquisition Date
Details (an extended description, if needed)
Date Sold
Sold to
Sold where

The queries work surprisingly well, too, and seem fairly simple to create.


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