Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 130.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 21:41:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Al Magary <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Help needed on organizing etext and other files on a Windows PC
I have on my Windows PC a large collection of etexts, resource material, and
other files relating to the Middle Ages. Right now I rely on Windows'
filenaming, with spaces removed to allow more concise display, and I use
Windows Explorer to manage the files. E.g., I have "GestOfRH.txt" in the
Robin Hood folder, "Malory-pt1.txt" in the Arthur/MorteDarthur subfolder.
Unfortunately, this abbreviation and categorization has led to an abundance
of mysterious files and folders. I no longer can grasp what I have and
don't have or often can't find things. I've been thinking of undertaking a
tedious reorganization, and my thoughts have been along the following:
1. Putting every file in one folder, alphabetized like a card catalog or
ordered by LOC classification numbers. Neither of these is appealing, the
first because too many files have no author, like the Gest of Robin Hood,
and the second because it would be difficult to get all the LOC numbers
(even just two letters and four digits).
2. Leaving the files in the array of folders but getting a better grip on
them by compiling a better catalog or bibliography. The two options here
a. Using a bibliographic database, perhaps Nota Bene's Ibidem. I have no
experience with Nota Bene and would have to transfer things from Word.
Leaving MS Office is unappealing as the rest of my life, as it were, is
b. Using a regular database. If I stayed with Office I would use Access.
If I switched to Nota Bene I could see if Orbis or Ibid would save me.
Access is pretty good, offering both record and table views. Text entry,
reorganizing, and sorting are fast. The search functions are good. But I
am always disappointed by the various reports (printouts).
I'm inclined to stick with Office and use Access to catalog what I have--but
that still leaves the problem of where and how the files should be kept in
some kind of order in Windows.
I have the bibliographic equivalent of writer's block here, and wonder if
listmembers can offer some help, perhaps by outlining how they organize
similar files. I'd also like some comments on using both MS Office and Nota
Bene with the web, especially conversion difficulties.
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