Guidelines for State File Managers/Archivists

Maureen Reed has compiled some "tips" for converting various formats into text. Go to the TIPS Page.

FTP Site:

NOTE: USGenWeb Archives file managers (archivists) will use the two directories:

1. Include a HEADER/HEADLINE on the FIRST line of every text file, describing the file. For example:
The search engine returns the "header" and this will help researchers navigate and browse the files of their choice.

1a. Use lowercase (i.e. no CAPS) alphanumeric characters only. Spell out county name without the word county, no special characters, and no spaces (e.g. harrison, princegeorges).

- Directories/folders/file categories. These should be one word and should not contain any non-alphanumeric characters nor spaces. (e.g. wills, marriages).
- File names. Use names that are descriptive of the document contents and all lower case alphanumeric characters. Use dashes to separate words in a file name, never use underlines (e.g. smith01.txt, agassi-graf.txt).

1b. Upload non-text files as binary. Never upload a text file as "binary."

1c. Include the submitter/submitters' name and e-mail address unless they request it not be included.

2. Do not create sub-directories unless there is a file located there.

3. Under county, use subdirectories established by USGenWeb Archives (e.g. wills, deeds, vitals, census, misc). For example:

Acceptable sub-directories include, but are not limited to:

4. For states where towns are political entities, a sub-directory may be used under the county directory. For example, usgenweb/ct/tolland/towns/mansfield/wills. In states where cities are independent, a sub-directory can be created. For example, usgenweb/va/jamestown/census.

5. No GEDCOMs, Family Group Sheets, or other genealogy program reports.

6. The USGenWeb Archives are not a replacement for state and/or county websites (XXGenWeb). Therefore, links to files on other sites are not to be placed on the state tocs of the Archives. Linking to files other than those located in the USGenWeb Archives should be placed on the appropriate state or county website.

File Names:

1. Within a given directory, all filenames must be unique.

2. File names should not contain more than 8 (eight) characters. (e.g. cens001a.txt). This is based on the DOS 8.3 naming convention. More than eight characters may be used when it is necessary for clarity of the file contents. Remember to always use lower case.

3. Suggestions for naming files:

State archive file managers must follow the rules established for the USGenWeb Archives. The archive committee will have "owner" access to all state directories.

BACK UP your FILES! We have backups of the files, too.

After you add a data file, update the state table of contents page (toc), which is stored on the web side in HTML format so that visitors can click and download the file of their choice, if they choose not to search the ftp site. There should be some type of communication between the Archive file managers and the XXGenWeb state and county coordinators for announcements of newly uploaded files. County coordinators should be familiar with their county's directory of the USGenWeb Archives:

Never upload a file without a submitter's permission.

All state table of contents pages will remain at and linked from the US table of contents. -

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