All are good suggestions and I agree with most. Some additional guidance can be found in the National Park Service (NPS) Museum Handbook. Part II (http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/publications/MHII/mh2appc.pdf) contains a section on cataloging component parts. While this tells you how to do it in our database (developed by Re:discovery) it does provide some nice guidance of when and how to use this method of cataloging. If your database does not include a field to reflect these component parts, you can include it in the description field. Here are two catalog records/objects that I am familiar with to see how this could be done: http://museum.nps.gov/ParkObjdet.aspx?rID=HSTR%20%20%2017012%26db%3Dobjects%26dir%3DCR%20HSTR%26page%3D3 and http://museum.nps.gov/ParkObjdet.aspx?rID=HSTR%20%20%2025243%26db%3Dobjects%26dir%3DCR%20HSTR%26page%3D3. These are both object found on the National Park Service’s web catalog (at one of my former sites). As for marking the object, it is a case by case basis depending on how large a space you have to mark, etc. Additional NPS publications can be found at http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/index.html. Hope this helps.