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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » What do you do with all of your magic Instructions (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Wizard of Oz
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Inner circle
Most people wish I didn't have
5516 Posts

Profile of Wizard of Oz
Bill, you are so right. I am at the age now where I am working with my wife to simplify our lives as we grow closer to retirement. I have quite a few collections including some coins, stamps, comics, toys, and even knives...none of which need any further documentation to enable them to be sold. My magic everyone' different. Without instructions or in some cases provenance or COA's (certificate of authenticity), the value of the prop can be greatly reduced. And you are spot on regarding hoping our families will know how to connect the dots.

Much of my magic is stored in its original packaging with the instructions included. For my older props, which is the majority of my collection, I've organized my instructions in file boxes, in acid free sleeves. They are filed alphabetically by effect title...and Bill is so correct. This system means absolutely zero to anyone not familiar with vintage magic props. I may as well have invented my own language and filed the props using Ozish, my new language that no one will ever be able to understand.

So, I'm thinking I need to numerically pair my instructions with my loose props. I can use small stickers that affix to the back of each prop, and link to instructions labeled with the same number. Simple. And the instructions will stored alphabetically by trick name, but the number of where they are ordered in the file, will be recorded on the back of the prop.

Of course, I realize this plan is based on my current collection, and not taking into concern future purchases which will disrupt the order. So, I'm thinking I may need a sub-category besides the instruction number, e.g. Item 53A.

I'm just riffing here, as I find myself looking at my magic room, which quite literally looks like Dumbledore's office, and wondering how the heck I'm going to have my family make any sense of it? Working that out will be truly magical.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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Inner circle
Glen Spey, NY
1577 Posts

Profile of Ihop
I keep an inventory of all my magic props, gimmicks, DVDS, instructions in a database I wrote using FileMaker Pro.
FMP is cross platform and can be used in both Windows and Macs. I customized it just for my magic collection.
I also use another for my home videos going back to 1979. 80 VHS, 45 - 8 mm tapes and many digital files.

The magic database is an inventory of almost all my stuff and where it is being stored. I have 18 different bins and cases and boxes.
Each item includes which binder the instructions are in or the file path if it’s on a computer or location of DVD.
Also, date of purchase, price, seller, my proficiency with the trick, children or adult, category such as card, silk, levitation, etc.
I store this database on my Mac. But my IPad gets updated automatically when changes or additions are made.
If I make a substantial amount of changes I print it out. Also each box or bin has a printout taped to the outside listing what is in that box.
It’s a lot of time to do this but it works for me.
Besides, I’m retired and have the time..
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Loyal user
maumee, ohio
221 Posts

Profile of pattrick
I have a shoebox.
check out for the best in close up pads and tables.
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New user
31 Posts

Profile of AnthonyCC
For the ones that will fit, I put them into a binder with clear sheet pages. It's a great way to keep them in good condition and easily accessible.
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Inner circle
Tucson, AZ
1904 Posts

Profile of chmara
I have several three-ring 3" binders with instructions in clear protectors. I should have segregated them into various types of effects -- and some are in special show books with instructions in performance order. I continues tis while I had a working copier so I have some dupes for individual shows.

Some instructions have been removed from the binders and put in file boxes ready for sale (if there are instructions) escpecially close-up.

Years ago I used to save everything into a hard drive file -- but the disk went kaput. Thank goodness I have a good memory, except for the exact titles, instructions yes, titles no.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ

C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
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Regular user
143 Posts

Profile of thegreatscungilli
Hard Copies usually go into a binder BUT since I am stuck at home for now I started scanning them and putting them on memory sticks, I am doing them by categories like utilities, gimmicks, type of effect, etc.. I am making two copies as a backup in case one of the sticks should fail
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22891 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Looks like the page 2 members did not read the page 1 posts. Oh Well, the old saying, "You Can Lead A Horse To Water, But You Can't Make Him Drink"; comes to mind.

Change all your Computer and Back Up mechanical hard drives to SSD drives (Solid State Drives). It is proven that they will outlast any mechanical drive for less money per drive.
Brian Thomas
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New user
61 Posts

Profile of Brian Thomas
I started collecting in the late 1970s. Back then I simply punched holes in whatever instructions there were and put them in report covers.... about 30 to a cover. Of course the instructions for some effects did not lend themselves to having holes punched in them and I simple put them shoeboxes (e.g., booklets... Doug Henning's Twilight effect comes to mind, the instructions were a nice little book). Simplistic I know, but that's what I did way back when... and low and behold, 50 years later, I still have report folders... although the shoebox stuff has been transferred to plastic boxes with snap on lids. And all of it in plastic tubs when not in use. After reading all of the above I think I will attempt to re-marry effects with instructions, which might require more recollection the I can muster. Lots of the old stuff has been untouched for too many years to count.
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