Many collectors and museums already have a database of their collection. If so, you can use this to do a bulk data import of all your collection records straight into The Collecting Bug, a huge saving of time and effort.
For small collections, this will often be an Excel spreadsheet, but it may be in Word, Access or another database. Museum collections will often be in some form of proprietary digital format. If it is in a format other than Excel, you will need to convert it to Excel – in most cases, this is quite simple if you can do a data export in csv format.
When you create your collection in The Collecting Bug through a Data Import:
Three ways to create a spreadsheet of your collection
- you can use the many tools in Excel to copy and edit repeated data, add and delete columns etc, so it is an efficient and quick way of creating a database.
- the mere fact of creating an Excel spreadsheet will help you work out the structure and fields you want for your collection
- it is not extra work, just doing the same work in a different way
1. From scratch
Think of it as typing a list of items in your collection, plus a description. If you have a large collection, consider doing a single small section to start with. Some questions you would consider might be:
- what order will you list items in?
- what fields (Column Headers) will you use?
- will you describe items briefly, or with strong documentation
- what are the major sections and categories in your collection?
- how will you create a unique reference number for each item?
Older collections may be based on a manual file card system, in which case it is a fairly simple, if tedious, task to convert it to a spreadsheet.
Download a blank spreadsheet you can use
Click here to Download a blank collection spreadsheet you can use. If you click this link, an Excel spreadsheet will open for you. This spreadsheet contains two worksheets:
1. Worksheet 1 - a blank spreadsheet ready for you to add your custom fields and your collection data
2. Worksheet 2 - a completed example filled with data, ready for import
2. Convert an existing database to Excel
This may be Word, Access or another database, or a computer or internet based database. Generally, to do a conversion, export the data in CSV format, and then import the CSV file into Excel.
Many people do not realise that in most cases, it is possible to convert their existing data into a spreadsheet. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We have done many forms of conversions, and are happy to help. (We can even do the conversion for you for a small fee if you are not sure how to do it yourself.)
3. Export your existing The Collecting Bug collection
If you have already started your collection in The Collecting Bug, you already have an Excel spreadsheet - all you have to do is ask (Settings > Manage Your Data > Data Export). This will open an Excel spreadsheet of your existing collection.
If it is in exactly the format you want, just start adding more items to the bottom of it. If not, then edit settings in The Collecting Bug until it is.
A Data Export is also a simple and quick way of doing a back up of your collection data.
Once you have an Excel spreadsheet, you need to check the Spreadsheet requirements for a Data Import (add link)