|1st column / A||2nd / B||3rd / C||4th / D||5th / E||6th / F||7th / G||8th / H||9th / I|
|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;
— 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, or of one three-character and three two-character elements, or of three-four-two, or of two-three-four. These might not suit other organisations.
Each «Line-no» (in column A) is broadly in serial/chronological order of the Index too.
† 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.