Cataloging by country

I am beginning a much needed fresh start on the catalog of my collection. I’m interested in how some of you break it all down into groups. I collect one caliber and I plan on doing it by country, but how detailed do you get? Do you differentiate between Russia, Soviet Union, then Russia again? Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia? Germany, East Germany, West Germany, Germany again? My head is starting to spin. I’m interested in any non political opinions. Thanks!

For what its worth, I do differentiate between the countries when writing about ammunition. Since my catalog, now three years behind anyway, is only to let me know what I have in my collection to avoid duplication, I have not always bothered to make new sections, but I do fill in the country name completely - for example, Czechoslovakia originally, but now for each entry either Czech or Slovak.

For Russia, I have no cartridges in my collection, due to what I collect, from Czarist Russia, but had I rounds from then, they would be so categorized. Then USSR, and the the Russian Federation. In writing, I now insist of myself to use the official name of the country in headings, although in text, I use the popular name. I did not always do this, but the world is changing so rapidly, I find it now necessary. For example, in a heading, it is “Italian Republic” but then in text I will use the common name “Italy.” For changes of names, I use the name appropriate to when the ammo was made. For example, Yugoslavia until the break up, and then Serbia, Bosnia-Herzogovina, etc. Countries like Germany that did not change the basic name of the nation through many forms of government, I do not differentiate generally speaking, unless it is necessary for clarification. However, post 1945, I did since there was then the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. Now, I am back to simply Germany, although I believe the official name of all of Germany is now the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).

It IS very complicated sometimes, but I think it is the right thing to do. It is actually no more complicated than Corporate name changes in some instances of ammunition companies, and keeping those straight.

Of course, our catalogs are generally for our own use, so the eastiest thing to do is not be bound by someone eilse’s “rules” or opinions, but simply follow a system that gives you the information that YOU want, and that allows you to keep track of your own collection. When writing articles for other people’s consumption, then the rules change, and accuracy in country and corporate names is important, in my opinion. In the past, I have not been overly careful of that, but with the book I am writing, I have run into such a problem understanding a sequence of events until I understood name changes (in one instance, the back and forth change of the name of an important city) that I have tried my very best to explain them and use them correctly, contemporary to the cartridges being discussed.

I log by caliber for my general military collection, separating metric and inch. My specialty calibers, 7.62 Tokarev and non-US .45 ACP are logged according to country.
What is your specialty cartridge? That mught help with suggestions.

Thanks John. Makes sense. I’m collecting 7.62x54R.

In that case, I’d log either by loading or country, your choice.

Hendere, I collect a single caliber (9x19mm for those who have forgotten) and I do it by country. and then by manufacturer within country When contries combine, like West Germany and the DDR, I put them adjacent in my collection and essentially freeze the DDR items, adding only items made during the DDR days. Because of the scope, I seperate Germany pre '46 and post '45. For the countries like Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, the seperation by manufacturer gives a natural seperation by Country after the breakup. In your case, the splitup of the Soviet Union is more complex, but along the same lines. You may want to consider pre and post USSR.

Cheers, Lew