RE: File Naming Conventions for Family Photos
- As a person trained in library science and archives, in my opinion, the file
name should not be the means by which a photo is searched for and accessed.
I think that some sort of database, whether Excel, Access, or otherwise, is
needed to have searchable and retrievable images. File names are simply too
limited to allow for effective searching and retrieval. As RootsGuy said on
the blog, placing the information in the EXIF data of the file would be
ideal. Does anyone on the list use a program for searching EXIF data that
they would recommend?
I also use accession numbers for my photo collection. When I process each
photograph (which includes scanning and permanent archival storage) I write
a five digit accession number on the back of the photo, which I also use as
the file name for the digital image. When I do digital retouching, I add an
"a" to the end of the file name to indicate that the image has been altered
from the original. I don't know if it's a "best practice," but it works for
me. It is also the method used by the Austin History Center, which is where
I got the idea (except for the "a" part- that was my idea.) (For example,
see: <http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/ahc/lost/lost_butler.htm>.) I can't
say that I have a good method for searching and retrieval yet. I would love
to hear about other's methods on searching and retrieval of digital images.