Better than a shoebox

Organize and catalog your sports card collection with this free database.

If your card collection survived your mother's cleaning campaigns, there's a good chance it could be valuable, now or in the future. Sports Card Collector can help you catalog and organize your treasures. Duck Software's database engine is optimized for collectors, with quick access via name or category, customizable fields, and easy data entry.

Sports Card Collector's interface is plain but businesslike and easy to understand and use. It's divided into two halves. The left half has a window listing entries sorted by player name or card brand with a series of customizable category tabs along the top and a preview pane and controls for adding images below. On the right, customizable data entry fields and a series of clearly labeled icons let us add, save, edit, and delete entries as well as add notes. A useful example database helped us get started quickly. We clicked File and named and saved a new database file via a compact wizard that also let us open other databases such as the example file. On our blank template, we clicked Add and entered the name of the player on our first card, last name first: Shlabotnik, Joe; the card's brand name; then we created a Category (Baseball) and a Theme (Minor Leaguers); entered the card's location and other data, and clicked Save, which added our entry and category to the list view. We could customize the heading of any data entry field simply by clicking Custom Fields on the menu bar and entering and saving our selections in a pop-up field-picker. We could also easily browse to image files and add them to entries. Clicking alphabetically listed letters along the bottom of the interface gave us quick access to entries, too. Of course, as with any database, you'll have to enter everything yourself; those players can't sign your roster for you.

This free database not only catalogs your collection but also documents it for insurance purposes. And if your collection is large, the sooner you start, the sooner you'll finish. We recommend taking the time and effort to scan your cards into your database, and keeping a copy of your Sports Card Collector database in a safe location, such as a thumb drive.

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