Re: Arranging and storing a map collection?

Wendi Murray

I have a situation very similar to Martha’s – we have cabinets of flat files (mostly archaeological site maps) that are not indexed or numbered. I am digitizing them, and would like to assign numbers to each one and compile them into a searchable database. Our archives staff (they do not manage our archaeological files) suggested that I incorporate the site number into the flat file number for each map, but that doesn’t work because a) we do not always know which site the map refers to, b) they are not ALL site maps – some are county maps, railroad maps, etc.) and c) some of the maps document the locations of several arch sites at once. We also have multiple copies of the same maps. Is it better to assign a collections number (i.e., a number for all the flat files pertaining to site 32ME2) and each flat file within that collection number has a distinct object number (i.e., 32ME2.1, 32ME2.2, etc.)? This means we would have to come up with some arbitrary number to catch all the maps that do not pertain specifically to sites. Or should we just assign a sequential number to each document/map? That is a very simple system, but can anyone think of an alternative? Help!