Contributing to the Collector's Guide

The Collector's Guide is the heart of the Dollation! The Collector's Guide is a community-edited doll encyclopedia and virtual doll catalog. If you want to start contributing to the Dollation, the Collector's Guide is a great place to start. Note that the Collector's Guide is also referred to as the Dollipedia (short for Doll Encyclopedia) in many places.

This handbook page gives some suggestions that will make adding and editing things in the Collector's Guide go as smoothly as possible. If you haven't already, please read the Introduction & General Tips.

Add big things first

The parts of the Collector's Guide are all linked together. For instance a doll company (like Mattel) has many brands (like Barbie and Monster High). Because of this, it's easiest to add the "big things" first, like companies, that many things refer to. A particular brand of doll, like Tonner's Tyler Wentworth collection, will often have many doll characters, like Tyler, Sydney Chase, and Esmé. A particular doll product, like a dressed doll or an outfit, will often be made to be part of a particular doll character's collection. So, before you add a particular item that's in your collection, you should check to see if the company, brand, and the character are already there.

If you want to quickly find out if something has been added, the search box is your friend!

So, for example, if you want to add your vintage 8" Betsy McCall doll to the Collector's Guide, the first thing you'd check to see is if the company that produced her (American Character) has been added. If it hasn't, you can add it using the "Add company" link at the top of the Companies list. Then make sure there's a Betsy McCall brand, etc.

Ideal order to add things to the Collector's Guide:

  1. Company: a manufacturer of doll-related products
  2. Brand / Product Line: a themed collection of doll products, used for marketing the dolls
  3. Character: the fictional (or real) person represented by a doll or in a doll's story
  4. Product: an individual item you can buy, like a dressed doll or an outfit

If you're feeling like being complete, you can add the Body type for the doll (dimensions, materials, etc.) the Face mold and a Person or two for the doll artist who designed her or the founder of the company, etc.

As time goes on, it will be more rare to find companies and brands that haven't been added yet but for now there are big holes and you can be the first to plug some of them!

Once you've got your particular Betsy McCall doll added (in this example) you're ready to click the "Add to My Collection" link on the Product page to indicate that you own one. See the next handbook page for using the Collection Tracker to track your collection and to share photos (and soon videos) of your treasures.

Add as little or as much detail as you'd like

The fun thing about the Collector's Guide is it's always being added to. We've deliberately made very little information required so that you can add what you know and flesh things out later. For instance, to add a Company or a Person (like a doll artist), the only required information is a name. But for each type of thing in the Collector's Guide there are some particularly useful details. The following list has the high priority information that it is nice to track down when adding each type of thing. (These are crucial because they improve the browsing experience.)

Content types and their essential information

  1. Company
    1. Logo, so it's easy to pick the company out from the default grid view
    2. Year the company was founded, so we can classify it as Antique, Vintage or Modern
  2. Brand
    1. Logo
    2. Company that owns the brand
  3. Character
    1. Small picture for the list on the brand page
    2. Names of the main character if this is a supporting or friend character in the line
  4. Product
    1. Product Type (doll, clothing, etc.)
    2. Picture(s), ideally the original catalog pictures
    3. Year it was first produced
    4. Brand
    5. Company
    6. Character (if any)
  5. Person
    1. Picture
  6. Body type
    1. Primary material
    2. Height
  7. Face mold
    1. Close-up picture of a doll with that mold

For all content, another crucial field is Links / Sources! See the important note on copyrights.

See the links below for more tips on finding catalog pictures, including using the amazing Internet Archive "Wayback Machine", and specific tips about adding products.

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