LOL - I guess if the item does get stolen, all that is left is
an empty space and a piece of tape that says what
the thing was.
Museums usually write catalogue numbers directly onto
their pieces - they might as well cut huge chunks off.
Then again, a LOT of stuff on display at museums
is either quite common or replica..........
I keep all of my stuff neatly organized. I have a lot of junk but I (many of you also, I'm sure) can recall exactly where and when I picked up each item, as well as how much I paid for it. I made a very simple system to catalog my collection:
Take detailed photos of every single little item you get. Seriously, get detailed photos of absolutely every item. Then make a folder on your computer called 'Militaria Archive', or something to that effect. In that folder, make folders called 'Original' and 'Reproduction'. Then you can make even more sub-folders going by nation, era, both, etc. Then go from there. For example, In my archive, I have my latest Infantry Assault Badge in Militaria Archive/Original/WWII/Germany/Awards. In the 'Awards' folder, I have a folder called 'Infantry Assault Badge, S&L'. I have the detailed photos I took of the badge placed in that folder, as well as a notepad text file by the same name which details the amount paid, source, date purchased, and a brief description. (I always name the folder by what the general item is, followed by specifics. That way, my WWII U.S. field gear folder doesn't have canteens scattered all over the place. I have them named 'Canteen, AGM 1944', 'Canteen, Enameled 1942', 'Canteen, 1918', etc.)
It took some time, but I have about 90% of my entire collection cataloged this way.
Looking for WWII U.S. dog tags
I have a similar catalogue style. Using good pictures and folder and sub-folders helps me organize not only my collection but also information that I find that helps determine authenticity and characteristics of real and repro items.
i have a hpoto catalogue with each item accompanied by a unique number... this number is in an Excel document too with the name of the item, it's condition, the price i bought it and the year it was manufactured! That way i can easily find both photograph and information of the item... It really helps!