Item Numbering Variations

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Single images and single-paged text documents

Single images may be numbered without a page value, and so may single-paged text documents.

Either of the following file identifiers are correct for a single-paged item:

  • u0003_0000023_0000012
  • u0003_0000023_0000012_0001

Box and Folder number for Manuscript Items

Cabaniss collection (and others with < 100 boxes)

If the manuscript collection is small enough to have less than 100 boxes, less than 100 folders in any one box, and less than 1000 items in any folder, then it is acceptable to incorporate those numbers into the item file identifier in the following fashion:

  1. the first 2 numbers in the 3rd section of the file identifier are the box
  2. the 2nd 2 numbers in the 3rd section of the file identifier are the folder
  3. the last 3 numbers in the 3rd section of the file identifier are the item sequence within that folder.

For example, in the Cabaniss collection:

  • u0003_0000252_0102001 is the first item in box 1, folder 2
  • u0003_0000252_1404007 is the seventh item in box 14, folder 4

Gandrud collection (and others with > 100 boxes)

Since this collection has 4 number + 1 letter box numbers, we could not use the above naming conventions (we would not have enough digits). But we still wanted to use the box number in the filename in order to keep our workflow straight.

Luckily, we realized that taking the first digit off the number and omitting the letter would allow us to use the last three digits at the beginning of the item identifier. This means boxes with the same four digit number but different letters have item IDs that begin the same way.

We did not, however, use the folder number in the item identifier. We simply used the remaining four digits as a sequence number, assuming that no box number (even across multiple boxes) would have more than 9999 items. Working on only one box of a number at one time keeps us from duplicating sequence numbers across boxes.


  • Box 4043a has 170 items in it, so its filenames range from 0430001 to 0430170
  • Box 4043b begins at filename 0430171, and so on

Other workflows

Williams Cartes de Visites binders

Numbering is as follows: two-digit binder number + five-digit sequence number


  • Binder 5, image 89 = w0001_2014001_0500089
  • Binder 17, image 3 = w0001_2014001_1700003

Old Audio file identifiers

The Emphasis and Working Lives audio collections made use of an older file naming convention that more closely mirrors our standard file naming convention for image-based items. Both collections use an item identifier (ex. u0008_0000001_0000001) followed by a sub-item addition to reflect the existence of the item across multiple physical reels/tapes.

For example, u0008_0000001_0000001_0001, u0008_0000001_0000001_0002 would both indicates that there were two reels (Emphasis) or two cassettes (Working Lives) for a given intellectual item, a lecture or an interview, respectively.