File names of digital images may be developed from the title of a project, the title of a collection or a collection number, or from the title of the object itself. The file names are based on relevance to a project or to the object. Metadata for the digital images or files will capture pertinent data such as creator, dates, etc. Recommendations include a two to three character prefix that designates a clear association with a specific project.

Examples that meet the standards listed:

Willa Cather Archive

  • cat.0001.001.tif

Western Waters, The Platter River Basin in Nebraska

  • ww.00019.001.tif

All file identifiers for files stored on CD-ROMs should be compliant with ISO-9660:1988, and its relevant extensions mentioned below.


cc.0123456789.tif (17 characters in length)

File identifiers (often referred to as filenames) can be up to 30 characters in length, including:

  1. The file name (before the file extension)
  2. The dot separator(s)
  3. The file extension

(56 characters in length)

Length of file path, including file identifier, cannot exceed 255 characters. File names may include the following characters: A-Z, a-z,".", "_", "-" (period, underscore, and hyphen)


"Pic.0001.c-2_small.tif" would be a valid file name.
"Picture 3 of 40.tif" is not a valid filename because it contains illegal spaces.

Alphabetical characters in file identifiers should conform to the Rock Ridge Interchange Protocol (RRIP). RRIP extends ISO-9660:1988, while remaining completely compliant with it.



Numerical characters are allowed in file identifiers.

File Name Protocol

  1. Digital images are stored in the TIFF file format. Derivatives may include the following: JPEG, JPEG2000, GIF, PNG, and PDF.
  2. Digital image files stored on CD-ROMs should include master TIFF files and may also include derivatives created in support of a project.
  3. Information on content of CD-ROMs should be maintained for easy access to original master images stored on them. Currently in Archives and Special Collections this is kept on the Digital Imaging Database.
  4. In addition to digital images, the metadata on each image file should be retrieved from the Digital Imaging Database, saved in an XML or a delimited text format and burned onto the CD-ROMs as well. The database software allows export of specific records. This ensures that metadata for images exist on the storage media.
  5. CD-ROMs should be tested to ensure that the files can be retrieved.


  1. Store vertically.
  2. Do not touch reflective surface of disc.
  3. Do not bend.
  4. Store in archival sleeves, or jewel cases.
  5. Temperature conditions should remain between 41 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. While the long-term effect of ambient room lighting is unknown, generally it is recommended that CD-ROMs be stored in a box or other enclosure.
  7. Do not write on the CD-ROMS, unless you use a CD-safe marker, and even then only mark on the clear plastic hub where there is no data.
  8. Do not apply adhesive labels.
  9. Avoid cleaning discs, unless the disc is unreadable or obviously very dirty. Wipe from the center of the disk outward, NOT in a circular spiral around the disc.

Caring for CD-ROMs

Digital Library Federation: Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials

The NINCH Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials

Moving Theory Into Practice Digital Imaging Tutorial