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I am the Faculty Advisor of the Shakespeare Press Museum, a working printing museum on the campus of Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California.
We have 18 operating presses and about 400 metal and wood type fonts.
Our never-ending problem is cataloging and indexing our collection of type, some of which is so rare that we don't know what it is, where it came from, or what to call it.
I have been working for several months to develop a method for cataloging the nicks on the type we have, which I plan to use to help identify type that is not distributed correctly, or at all.
Acknowledging the potential weaknesses of the system (different nicks in the same font, for example) I would like to put this out to the Typophile forum for comment.