Rick, the original database is so old it was pre Windows 95. I kept using it, but it became un-updatealbe because Microsoft changing the type of Visual basic used by Access.
However the tables are all still appropriate, it's the queries and forms that need to be re-written. I don't have Microsoft office on a computer at the moment but I'll have a look for it later and see what there is. I'm intending to re-build it as an Open Office database. It links neg details to prints chemicals papers, alon g with image details, location, thumbnails etc.
Originally Posted by Rik
There is a conservating group around obviously based in Vlaanderen who ary busy with digitizing, catalogisation, and making public of photographical archieves. Even if digitizing is not your main issue I guess you’ll find some help `dichtbij┤:
rik--it's not impossible to change later on, it's just very time consuming, and it's confusing if you deal with anyone besides yourself, because they'll try to access your files using the older numbers. in our system, for example, say you have a print that you didn't make from a negative. it's an object. so, it gets it's own number. if you make a copy of that--then the negative or slide or scan even--it takes the number of the original print. BUT--if you have an original negative, then it gets it's own number, and the prints made from it take that number. Now archives--they sometimes assign a sequential number to everything. even copy negs. so, they might have an individual number for the same copy negative, and then on the file itself it might say "copy of 2007_10_1" so--then you have this other set of numbers...
roll film is particularly hard to file, because you often have more than one shot. sheet film is easy--each neg or group of brackets, alternates etc--gets a file. rollfilm--well, some institutions cut them into individual frames, which sounds good in theory, but is tedious to deal with. we came up with a system where the rollfilm, since it was shot primarily for assignments--had a set of letters for different fields that were used as a prefix, like I described with the C number above. We had X (exhibits), AT (artifact trip--this would be for documentation in-situ), P (publicity), E (events), etc. There are probably 6 fields total.
we don't make contacts for 4x5 accessioned negs, since these are photos of objects and share the same number. But we do make contacts for the subject fields, and these are filed in their own location-this is how you access that file--by the contact sheets. In retrospect--since this system worked in the analog world, it doesn't work so good for the digital world. It probably would have been better to just assign numbers to everything sequentially, like the archives does. I didn't set the system up though, and it's been a couple of decades in use, and would be very hard to redo.
There are also separate files for color transparencies, color negatives and slides. We use the prefix CT, CN for the 4x5 and 120 film. The slides have a totally different filing system, that I won't get into or else I'll bore you to death...All these formats are stored apart from each other..
Ultimately the way you access these files once you have the number--is to go to the 4x5 b/w negative files. If there's a b/w neg, there will be either a 35mm slide or a 4x5 chrome, given the year the negative was shot. There may be both, even. If you have the CT number, then you know there's a 4x5. The b/w is the master file though. so the negatives are the masters more or less. unless....it's digital to begin with....
at home--I file my negs with a simple 4 digit code. 0701, would be the first roll of 2007. 0701(10) would be frame 10 from that roll. I use contacts to find the images. For my digital stuff--I have a Mac as well--I use PhotoMechanic to do the captions and file names etc. Make a contact sheet--print it out and put it in a binder. My database is visual--the notebook. My file names are just the date I download the images. 070510 for example. I can put in keywords and the like in the metadata--uses XMP I think, like the Adobe stuff does as well. PhotoMechanic calls it a "stationary pad"--you can really automate it. It's not a database--it's used by the Associated Press, meant to download, caption & edit on the fly. works great though.
It's all a pain to deal with though. it's just never ending. When it came to my own photos, I had to keep it simple. I want to spend my time making photos, not filing them, if that makes any sense?
my opinions only/not my employers.
There's a couple of programs that you can buy on eBay for about $10. I bought one a couple of years ago and found it to be OK. I think one is called "TreasureSoft ." and the other something like "Collect It." At any rate you can search for "collection software" and you'll get several hundred hits. These programs are not all that bad. They each have many versions, all targeting different collectors -- Cameras, Coins, Dolls, etc. They allow you to enter details about each item in your collection and optionally add an image.
When I bought TreasureSoft I was looking for ideas for my own Access database. I ended up using my own because it met all of my requirements. Though I could have used the other with some compromises.