While designing a logo for the Harvey Mercheum website might have been challenging for me, one task I found easier was deciding what data elements I wanted to present for each exhibit. I went through my whole collection, and compiled a list of possibilities. It turned out to be a fairly short list: the item’s name, product number, UPC, manufacturer, country of origin, copyright date, copyright holder, and statement of intended age range. I decided to track all of these elements, and to copy them exactly as they appear on the packaging. It is these elements that I need for guest exhibit contributions. If I cannot read the information from the pictures provided, I will have to follow up with the contributor and request it.
It is also for guest contributions that I added a data element for contributor. Before starting this website, I spoke with a number of collectors, and some expressed concerns about privacy. For this reason, I allow the contributor to remain anonymous if desired, or to use a nickname. To handle cases where one person owns the item being submitted but another is taking the photographs, I decided to put a separate “Photo by…” credit in the captions of the photos.
The one element I was most uncertain about tracking was what I called the “Age Statement”. Then, while I was researching Larami Corporation, I noticed that the Battlestar Wiki’s Larami Corp page (from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) specifically mentions what they call the toy safety warning. I decided to keep the element.