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Database or Spreadsheet Template for managing a NG collection

I have started to use an Excel spreadsheet to maintain an inventory of my collection and the condition of issues I own. Not being very spreadsheet saavy, I have run into a couple of problems dealing with bound volumes and dates before 1904. It occurs to me that some collector out there has already come up with an elegant template for a spreadsheet or database and might be willing to share it. I also wonder if there is a way of importing data about issues (maps, etc.) from the NG index.

Thanks, Noel

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I am curious to know what you have for a spreadsheet. What is the difficulty pre-1904? I think we may have chatted before yet I cannot recall at this moment if/what that was. I tried to see what others had for record-keeping before and didn't really get anywhere.

To my knowledge and experience using it, there is no way of importing any info. from the NGS site Index regarding the maps or issues. It has to be done manually as far as I can tell. Are you familiar with Mr. Buxbaum's NGM Collector's book? It had a template to use as a checklist (up to that time) for the issues/inserts.

I'd like to talk more with you - have a nice day.

Scott T. Shier
Thank you for your reply Scott. I am not familiar with any books re NG collecting, sounds interesting.

Here is what I'd like to do.

I have an iMac, MacBook Pro, and an iPhone all synced. I have MS Office for Mac. I want a current list of issues I own, their condition, maps present or missing, and the price I paid. I want the list portable with my laptop and now my iPhone, so when I travel, I can make a spontaneous buying decision to fill a gap or upgrade quality of an issue.

I started to make an excel spreadsheet of all magazines with a field (checkbox) for missing issues. I identified the issues by month and year format in one column. I can't get excel to recognize dates before 1904 or 1900 depending on which date format I set in preferences.

I can probably get around this by adding a column or two with the volume number and the issue number and sort by those columns instead of by dates.

Before I go ahead and enter new info for each magazine, I thought I'd ask other collectors if someone has come up with a set of data fields they are happy with and willing to share. Maybe even with some fancy colors or nifty formatting.

I have an excel spreadsheet set up with the years vertically, and the months horizontal. I have a box per month to note condition, and also whether there was a map (that month), and I distinguish between a map or a pictorial supplement. Then for myself I use colors or shading to indicate what I do not have...

...instead of checking off everything I do have, because that gets messy to the eye. Plus, I finished the sheet after I collected most of what I have so it was not a matter of checking things off from scratch, as acquired.

I can email it to you if you want to see it. But, would you be able to access the file since I am on Windows Office ? not Mac?

- Scott S.
Sounds great. I should be able to open any excel file.

Thanks, Noel
I am interested in developing an automated index for my collection of NGMs. I have explored using MS Access. I recently found out about this forum and saw your message regarding an Excel spreadhseet. I would be interested in getting more information about what you are developing. Do you know if there is any NGM index freeware available?
-Kim Cimmery

Hello, I am away from my home right now (until Friday night). I could email a copy of my list to you then. It's not quite finished though, haha.

- Scott T. Shier
Hi Scott-
Thanks. I would be interested;
Hello Kim,
Scott sent me his Excel spreadsheet format and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, I think I would have to manually re-enter my data. I need to ask an experienced Excel user if there is a way to import data from one spreadsheet to another that has different data fields. Maybe when I retire I'll have more time .........

I have all Mac stuff so I don't have any experience with Acces. I am working with iWork(numbers) right now and looking at Filemaker's Bento.

I too thought that the index would be somewhere in a format that collectors can import into a spreadsheet or database. That would be sweet. Then all a collector would need to add would be a few fields to denote what items are owned and their condition and cost. If you find a digital index, please let me know.


could you email me this spreadsheet?  it sounds like it could be really useful as I start my indexing endeavor!


Thanks for saying my spreadsheet was "beautiful" HAHA.

It is unfortunate that there is not a Society online index with the info. culled together the way that you describe, and desire.

If you have any file you've started I'd love to see it to get a different perspective.

kind regards,

Scott T. Shier
I use book collector software to manage my collection. It's absolutely wonderful, in my opinion, in that it's specifically designed to catalog publication collections. It's made my life infinitely easier.
Thanks Nick, I downloaded the free trial. I'll give it a run. Any hints or tips for applying it to NG's?




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