Re: research, index,db,yeah, steam era and freight cars, can this group

Monk Alan <Alan.Monk@...>

My preferred solution to the great magazine indexing issue is to fillet the individual issues for the articles I want to keep for future reference and bin/recycle the rest. A good issue might be 25% good/75% bad in terms of useful articles... why on earth would you keep hold of the 75% bad??

Each filleted article is placed in plastic pocket and this then filed in a lever-arch file with similar articles - so if I want DS boxcars I just pull one file off the shelf and it's all there. Ditto for gons, cabeese, etc. So far, about 1 dozen lever-arch files of US-related articles (and about 20-odd for UK stuff).

You could divide by subject (locos, box cars, gons, layout planning, scenery, structures, track, etc) or by RR, with further sub-divisions (wood box-cars, steel boxcars, etc) whichever works best for you. I also include kit instructions in with the relevant folders, especially if they contain useful prototype info.

Pros - Saves me time (no wading through indexes, then getting distracted by other articles or, worse, adverts for stuff long out of production) and shelf-space/weight (any idea how heavy 25 years-worth of complete mags are??)

The main con is that there'll always be that one article you didn't keep... or worse, you one day change era/location/RR and suddenly your library's usefulness drops :(

But even eliminating the ads will cut the space/weight problem - and I have to say that the UK mags are ahead of the game here (and have been for many years) with all the adverts placed en-bloc at each end of the mag, leaving all the articles and features in one easily removed section in the middle - my local club recently went through our entire magazine library and removed all the ads from the UK magazines, saving around 60% on the shelf space and weight formerly required to store the whole collection with ads!

Alan Monk,
London, UK

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