Documenting Collections

documenting collections at the daily digi

I’m pretty sure that all of us here are collectors of some sort since scrapbookers love to collect memories (and memorabilia, and supplies, etc.) Have you ever thought about documenting the things you actually collect? Look around you (or dig through your hard drive) and I bet you will find some interesting collections. They don’t have to be expensive items, just think about what interests you and/or those around you.

Books are a BIG deal in our house. I have always been fond of reading and my son is a complete bookworm. We have stacks and stacks of books around the house and one of my favorite things to do is to organize them in meaningful ways on our bookshelves. I especially love really beautiful books. I’m a pushover for a great leather bound classic!


I have been working on adding these to our library over the last few years and we are starting to accumulate a nice selection. I have found most of them at Barnes and Noble stores or online at Amazon.


I have found that when people browse through our shelves, they want to know more about where I have found these books and why I have selected them. I’ve thought about putting a card or a bookplate label inside of each book to explain the details. Alas, I’ve never done that (yet), but I still think it would be a good idea.

One of my favorite collections is the series of globes I’ve been purchasing for the past 5 years.

globe collection

Several of the globes have a story behind them that is worth telling. At the very least, I would like to record the details of where and when I bought each one. I decided to try out a few different styles for this type of documentation and I am going to end up using all of them for various different collections.

It’s super easy to snap a picture of a new globe with my iPhone and use an app to jot down the details. Any app that adds text will work for this method. I used A Beautiful Mess to create this little photo documentation in just a few seconds.



Adding information to the photo in a pocket scrapbooking style approach. I love the idea of slipping these into a pocket album!

London Globee

Scrapping with Liz journaling card template. Weeds and Wildflowers Everyday Life. The Wolff font by Heather Hess.


It’s also a lot of fun to scrap about collections. The things you collect tell a story about you and they are usually easier to photograph than people. lol!

Scrapbook Lady streamers 1 photo

Tracy Martin Traveler. Scrapbook Lady Streamer template. The Wolff font by Heather Hess.


Tips for documenting collections

  • Photograph items individually and as part of a group to show how they fit in the collection.
  • Update your documentation as your collection grows.
  • Include details of where, when, and why you added that particular piece to your collection.
  • Don’t forget to photograph and journal about other people’s collections that inspire you.
  • When you document a collection, you will have a great record of it that can come in handy for insurance purposes and also to help avoid duplicate purchases. Consider uploading a copy of your list to a cloud backup and/or as a document or photo on your mobile device.


What do people collect?

Collections can consist of just about anything! If you are making an effort to have more than one of something, you might just be a collector. My grandmother always bought the same blouse in every color when she found one she liked. My Mom loves roosters and has them in many different forms throughout her house. My daughter insists that we save extra pennies in a jar because she is convinced they will stop making them someday and they will be valuable. My son loves to have every single book written by a favorite author. Here are some other ideas for collections:

  • coins
  • stamps
  • scrapbook supplies (digital and/or paper)
  • cookbooks
  • shoes
  • jewelry
  • fabric
  • toys
  • postcards
  • recipes
  • movies
  • music
  • art
  • antiques

and more! If you are having a hard time coming up with any collections to scrap about, ask a friend or a family member to help you out. I bet you will be surprised at how many collections exist under your own roof!

katie big