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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    « Family Curator Visits NEHGS Spring Research Getaway 2009, Part 3: Researching at NEHGS | Main | TAG Now Available Online Through NEHGS »
    Tuesday
    May122009

    Organizing a Book Collection with Book Collector 6.1


    In collecting the names and stories of ancestors, family curators are often called to collect and organize all kinds of things from letters and photographs to china, baby spoons, and books. I think the same "collecting gene" that drives a family curator to preserve these treasures may also push a person to collect other things -- souvenir postcards, funny hats, or even photographs of women wearing glasses (hello, footnoteMaven!).

    In my case, I collect books. So many books on so many different subjects that sometimes I purchase the same title twice and even sit down to read a "new" mystery only to discover I am in the middle of a deja-vu experience right about page 30. Good thing this memory lapse allows me to guess "whodunnit" all over again, but this is hard on the book budget.

    On a recent trip to New York City, I had a chance to visit two Greenwich Village bookshops on my list, Partners in Crime and Bonnie Slotnik Cookbooks. Of course, I added a few volumes to my "collection," but I was frustrated because I couldn't remember the name of a great British genealogy mystery writer, and because I couldn't remember which Farm Journal cookbooks I still wanted to find.

    Since returning home I have been testing the trial version of Book Collector by Collectorz.com. This is a hefty program that catalogs books either from manual input of title/author or ISBN, or from scanning the ISBN bar codes. I don't have a bar code scanner, but when I type in the ISBN, the program searches a book database and returns all the book information complete with an image of the book jacket and plot description. From there, I can add my own notes about purchase price, condition, etc., or also indicate if this book is on my Wanted list.

    Collectorz also offers similar collection programs for music, comics, games, mp3s, and photos. The programs for music, movies, and books will run on both PC Windows and Mac OSX.

    This week, Collectorz announced that the companion program Movie Collector is now available as an iPhone/iPodTouch app at the official AppStore, and that Book Collector is slated to be added witin the next few months. The companion iPhone app will sync with the desktop software to provide portable access to your database.

    Book Collector is easy and intuitive to use, and set up is easy with the available tutorials. The trial version is limited to 100 books, which is certainly enough room to test its many features. In fact, the only downside I found is the price. The Standard Version is $29.95, but the iPhone/iPodTouch app will require the Pro Version at $49.95 (plus $9.95 for the app), which may be a bit steep if one's library cataloging needs are not extensive.

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