I've been curious about this for a while, I've always felt like I should really write down/photograph/catalog all of my guitar information, but I never knew the best way to do it. The idea would be that if one was ever stolen, I would have all of that information on hand to help track it down.

I'm thinking about starting an excel file with a chart of information (I have 10-12 guitars/basses/etc) or maybe taking photos of each headstock with serial and then a full body shot. Keep it all backed up on dropbox or something like that.

If any of you guys do it, how do you do it and/or how would you recommend doing it?

For anyone who has had an instrument stolen, first of all I'm sorry for your loss, but also what sort of information was useful in recovering it (if you were so lucky) or what information were you lacking that could have helped recover it?

Would it be smart to compile a list of local shops and their contact information in advance to expedite a recovery in case something is stolen?

Sorry for the stack of questions, just curious how you guys handle this in your lives. I have yet to have anything stolen, but as I accumulate a valuable and large stable of instruments in a very popular city where everybody and their mother plays guitar (Nashville, TN - Music City!) these thoughts start to build up.
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
Take a bunch of pictures, write down a description of the exact models and serial numbers, then email them to yourself. That way you have the files saved remotely, and with an external date stamp. Dropbox is a good idea but you have no way of proving that you owned a specific guitar at a specific point in time. To that end, it might not be a bad idea to put yourself or some personal ID in one or more of the pictures.
I've got detailed pictures of pretty much everything I've owned, including serials and pictures of my whole collection together in my home. On the stuff I play out with, I put my name address and ID number on a card inside the equipment. Under the pickguard, inside the chassis on an amp, etc.. a place where somebody wouldn't immediately think to check. Having any sort of paperwork doesn't hurt either, like a bill of sale or original receipt.

I had an '84 Dean ML that was stolen out of the back of a van a few years ago, and it was recovered from an evidence locker thanks to the card I put inside of it (the thief had his car impounded a few days later).
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]