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Digital Projects Toolkit: Organizing Collections

Digital Collection Mangement: Organizing Collections

Organizing Collections

Collection or folder organization is just as important as file naming. In fact, many of the same practices of file naming apply to folder naming and collection organization (such as avoiding special characters).

Best Practices
  • Create an organizational structure that works for you (by year, by subject, etc.).
  • The organizational structure should be logical. It should make sense to you and "outsiders" (colleagues, patrons, etc.).
  • Once you decide on an organizational structure, stick with it. Consistency is key.
  • Keep folder names brief, but descriptive. They should be short and sweet.
  • Use underscores (folder_name), hyphens (folder-name), camel case (FolderName), or no separation (foldername).
  • Use a hierarchical folder structure
    • Typically, the topmost folders start broadly and then become more specific as subfolders are added.
  • Minimize the depth of folders
    • Subfolders are recommended to further organize your files. However, do not use too many subfolders with subfolders.

Batch Renaming

If you have many folders to rename, consider using a batch renaming software, such as Advanced Renamer or Bulk Rename Utility. This will save a lot of time and effort. Consult the Hardware & Software page for more information.

Additional Resources

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.