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Step 02: Unique Identifiers and Location


Unique Identifiers

Control Number

The Control Number is a unique number assigned to each tape. This number allows you to identify each tape. The number should appear in this field and should also be permanently attached to the tape. You can use any system you like, as long as you are consistent and assign one unique number to each tape. The Template will not allow you to assign the same number to two different tapes. This is a required field; you must enter a Control Number.

Some examples are:
ETC0001 (In this case, ETC designates the institution -- Experimental Television Center -- and each tape is numbered consecutively starting with 0001.)

00001 -- You can simply assign numbers beginning with 1. This method has the virtue of being extremely simple.

There are also systems in which the number is derived from certain information about the tape. For instance, with Control Number V.34.1445.c2, the "V" stands for video, "34" designates 3/4 inch tape, the "1445" is the number assigned to the work and "c2"means copy 2. This type of system appears to be very useful in that important information is immediately known from the number. However, in practice, this type of system becomes extremely cumbersome, is difficult to maintain, and is prone to error.

Old Number

The cataloger should enter any number formerly associated with a film or tape in this field. This is a repeatable field and will accommodate as many repeats as necessary. This field can be very important for tracing and maintaining the history of the work. Old numbers may be the only link to the identity of an element in an older or handwritten record.

Shelf Location

If the shelves have been numbered, this field should be used to designate the shelf on which the material resides. The institution can also use this field to indicate a tape's general location.

Each institution decides the format for shelf numbers. They can be as simple as 1, 2, 3, and so on, or indicate the range and individual shelf (e.g., C146). Some institutions indicate the range, side, section, and shelf number (e.g., AII4a3).

The general location can be indicated by such terms as on-site, off-site, Third Floor Storeroom, Preferred Media, downstairs vault. Whatever term is used should be clear, generally known, and well-documented.



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