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alphanumeric filing system

Broader Term: 

(also numeric-alphabetic filing system), n. ~ A method for classifying materials for storage and access through use of letters and digits that represents a concept.


Alphanumeric filing systems typically use indirect access, with users locating file headings through a hierarchical or alphabetical list that indicates the code used for filing or retrieval.

(TSLA 1998) Alphanumeric filing may use a combination of personal or business names and numbers, or more commonly, subject names and numbers. Once the alphabetic divisions or topic headings and appropriate subdivisions have been determined, number categories can be assigned. If larger quantities of records are to be stored within the system, smaller divisions within each letter of the alphabet can be used. A relative index lists the number codes assigned to each letter of the alphabet or to its divisions. The file worker refers to the index to determine the primary filing digit to be assigned to a file for a new correspondent or document.

A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology