1st column / A 2nd / B 3rd / C 4th / D 5th / E 6th / F 7th / G 8th / H 9th / I
Line-number Category COUNTY PARISH ITEM-TITLE Media Ref-ID Notes Memo
for example ... Directory Suffolk Aldeburgh 1962/63 Street Directory ... ring-binder R DIR1962AV
      + entries for elsewhere in the Alde Valley ... ... so ... ... "AV" (for Alde Valley)


The Index is ordered by «ITEM-TITLE» (column E) within «PARISH» (column D) within «COUNTY» (column C), which is the traditional and most likely way in which users would search through it.  However, as a spreadsheet, the Index can be sorted by any one or more of its columns, so it can be used to search in different ways.   A «Ref-ID» then offers the following advantages —

— a convenient, unique meaningful abbreviation of an item's title and/or purpose;
— multiple indexing of a resource (so Index is not only for stocktaking)
— all lines for an item contain its Ref-ID ;
— consistent filing order to find the item on its shelf, etc. — identified by its «Media» in column F;
— physical items have a sticky AVSFHG label showing their registered Ref-ID — especially useful for newly acquired items;
— any borrower can re-file an item correctly themself (so it isn't mislaid), frequently without recourse to the Index;
— for digital resources (with «Media»="PC") a filename-prefix, by which it is sorted within the resources folders on our PCs † ;
— grouping of similar/related items (if Index is re-sorted by «Ref-ID»
in column G );
— highlighting of accidental duplicates
during Index maintenance;
— each «Line-no» (in Column A) is broadly in serial/chronological order of the Index
for a new archivist/cataloguer/indexer, we have (only-) optional guidance on a consistent Ref-ID standard, based on our experiences so far.

«Ref-IDs» usually identify an item's «Category», placename and «Title», related to the values (and sometimes matching the order) of Index columns B to E — for example, "PHOLEIWWI" for photos of Leiston in the "Illustrated Memorial of the Great War" [WWI].  We quickly found that seven- or eight-character Ref-IDs didn't offer us quite the flexibility that we needed.  Rather, our experience is that nine characters often fall into more useful and meaningful patterns of three x three-character elements [333], or of one three-character and three two-character elements [3222], or of three-four-two [342], or of two-three-four [234].  These might not suit other organisations.

†  e.g.  file  DIR1868AD_Nat-Gazetteer-of-GB&NI_v1_ABB-DAL.pdf  for  "National Gazetteer of GB & Ireland 1868: Abbas Coombe to Dalby Magna".
Category «Directory» includes gazetteers and local/church guidebooks; also Manorial Records.