If you know the data ahead of time (that is, you won't be adding more in 3 months) it might be easier to enter the data into a text file, then write a parser to massage the text file into what you need.
I have chosen to use Swing because I need to enter data for each item that includes links to photographs, lists, a choice selected from a list, choices selected from a list. The field names are important to store with the data. A csv file would not work in this case.
It seems a GUI makes user input easier. Storing the data into a properties file (1 for each item) will be easy to read.
Each item entered can be thought of as a record; however, not all fields in a record will always have a value - in this case the name/value will not appear in the properties file.
I eventually want to store the data in MongoDB.
If I need to add new fields, that will work fine with MongoDB. (It would not work with an RDB database).
I chose Swing over JavaFX because I'm working on Ubuntu and didn't download the oracle jdk8. Only that one has JavaFX for Ubuntu. The GUI I will write will contain only basic components. I also know Swing to some extent and don't have much time to complete this project.
I apologize for not giving more details in my first question.
Again, thank you very much for the responses - this got me to reading more on the subject and thinking through the best solution for my project at this point.