Alphabetic Indexing Rules

Created by FeleciaMcDougle 

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Rule 1: Indexing Order of Units

A. Personal Names - A personal names is indexed in this manner: (1) The surname (last) is the key unit, (2)The given (first) name or initial is the second unit, & (3) The middle name or initial is the third unit. A unit consisting of just an iitial precedes a unit that consists of a complete name beginning with the same letter-nothing before somethin. Punctuation is omitted.
B. Business Names - Business names are indexed as written using letterheads or trademarks as guides. Each word in a business name is a separate unit. Business names containing personal names are indexed as written.

Rule 2: Minor Words & Symbols in Business Names

Aritcles, preposition, conjunctions, and symbols are considered separate indexing units. Symbols are considered as spelled in full. When the word The appears as the first word of a business name, it is considered the last indexing unit.

RULE 3: Punctuation and Possissives

All punctuation is disregarded when indexing personal and business names. Comma, periods, hyphens, apostrophes, dashes, exclamation points, question marks, quotation marks, underscores, and diagonals (/) are disregarded, and names are indexed as written.

RULE 4: Single Letters and Abbreviations

A. Personal Names
Initials in personal names are considered separate idexing units. Abbreviations of personal names (Wm., Jos., Thos.) and nicknames (Liz, Bill) are indexed as they are written.
B. Business Names
Single letters in business and organization names are indexed as written. If single letters are separated by spaces, index each letter as a separate unit. An acronym (a word formed from the first, or first few letters of several words, such as NASDAQ and ARCO) is indexed as one unit regardless of punctuation or spacing. Abbreviated words (MFG., Corp., Inc.) and names (IBM, GE) are indexed as one unit regardless of punctuation or spacing. Radio and television station call letters (KDKA, WNBC) are indexed as one unit.

RULE 5: Titles and Suffixes

A. Personal Names
A title before a name (Dr., Miss, Mr., Mrs., Ms., Professor, Sir, Sister), a seniority suffix (II, III, Jr., Sr.), or a professional suffix (CRM, DDS, Mayor, Senator, Sr.). If a name contains a title and a suffix (Ms. Lucy Wheeler, DVM), the title Ms is the last unit. Anne, Father Leo) ar indexed and filed as written.
B. Business Names
Shop) are indexed as written. The word The is considered the lase indexing unit when it appears as the first word of a business name.

RULE 6: Prefixes-Articles and Particles

A foreign article or particle in a personal or business name is combined with the part of the name following it to form a single indexing unit. The indexing order is not affected by a space between a prefix and the en, Ter, Van, Van de, Van der, Von, Von der.

RULE 7: Numbers in Business Names

Numbers spelled ouit (Seven Lakes Nursery) in business names are filed alphabetically. Numbers written in digits are filed before alphabetic letters or numbers. (B4 Photographers aomes before Beleau Building and Loan).
Names with numbers written in digits in the first units are filed in ascending order (lowest to highest number) before alphabetic names (229 Club, 534 Shop, First National Bank of Chicago). Arabic numerals are filed before Roman numerals (2 Brothers Deli, 5 Cities Transit, XII Knights Inn).
Names with inclusive numbers (w0-39 Singles Club) are arranged by the first digit(s) only (20). Names with numbers appearing in other than the first position (Pier 36 Cafe) are filed alphabetically and immediately before a similar name without a number (Pier 36 Cafe comes before Pier and Port Cafe).
When indexing names with a number (in figures or words) linked by a hyphen to a letter or word (A-1 Laundry, Fifty-Eight auto Body, 10-Minute Photo), ignore the hyphen and treat it as a single unit ((10Minute, A1, FiftyEight).
When indexing names with a number plus a symbol (55+ Social Center), treat it as a single unit (55plus).

RULE 8: Organizations and Institutions

Banks and other financial institutions, clubs, colleges, gospitals, hotels, lodges, magazines, motels, museums, newspapers, religious institutions, schools, unions, universities, and other organizations and institutions are indexed and filed according to the names written on their letterheads.

RULE 9: Identical Names

In correspondence files, determining which person or business is the correct one when there are others with identical names can be a challenge. When personal names and names of businesses, institutions, and organizations are identical (including titles, as explained in Rule 5), filing order is determined by the addresses. Compare addresses in the following order:
1. City names.
2. State or province names (if city names are identical).
3. Street names, which include Avenue, Boulevard, Drive,
Street, (if city and state names are identical).
a. When the first units of street names are written in digits
(18th Street), the names are considered in ascending numeric order (1,2,3) and placed togehter before alphabetic street names (18th Street, 24th Avenue, Academy Circle).
b. Street names written as digits are filed before street names written as words (22nd Street, 34th Avenue, First Street, Second Avenue).
c.Street names with compass directions (North, South, East, and West) are considered as written (SE Park Avenue, South Park Avenue).
d. Street names with numbers written as digits after compass directions are considreed before alphabetic names (East 8th Street, East Main Street, Sandusky Srive, SE Eighth Avenue, Southeast Eighth Street).
4. House or building numbers (if city, state and street names are identical).
a. House and building numbers written as digits are considered in ascending numberic order (8 Riverside Terrace, 912 Riverside Terrace) and placed together before spelled-out building names (The Riverside Terrace).
b. House and building numbers written as words are filed after house and building numbers written as digits (11 Park Avenue South, One Park Avenue).
c. If a street address and a building name are included in an address, disregard the building name.
d. ZIP Codes are not considered in determining filing order.

RULE 10: Government Names

Government names are indexed first by the name of the governmental unit --city, county, state, or country. Next, index the distinctive name of the department, bureau, office, or board.
A. Local and Regional Government Names
the first indexing unit is the name of the county, parish, city, town, township, or village. Charlotte Sanitation Department is an example. Charlotte (a city) would be the first indexing unit. Next, index the mst distinctive name of the department, board, bureau, office, or government/political division. In this case, Sanitation would be the most distinctive name of the department. The owrds County of, City of, Department of, etc., are added for clarity and are considered separate indexing units. If of is not a part of the official name as written, it is not added as an indexing unit.
B. State Government Names
Similar to local and regional political/governmental agencies, thefirst indexing unit is the name of the state or province. Then index the most distinctive name of the department, board, bureau, office, or government/political division. The words State of, Province of, Department of, etc., are added for clarity and are considered separate indexing units. If of is not a part of the official name as written, it is not added as an indexing unit. Two examples follow.
C. Federal Government Names
Use three indexing "levels" (rather thatn units) for the United States federal government. consider United States Government as the first level. The second level is the name of a department or top-level agency that is rearranged to show the most distinctive part first; for example, Agriculture Department (of). Level three is the next most distinctive name; for example, Forest Service. The words of and of the are extraneous and should not be considered when indexing. thes words are shown in parentheses for reference only. Two examples follow.
D. Foreign Government Names
The name of a foreign government and its agencies is often written in a foreign language. When indexing foreign names, begin by writing the English translation of the government name on the document. The English name the first indexing unit. Then index the balance of the formal name of the government, if needed, or if it is in the official name (China Republic of). Branches, departments, and divisions follow in order by their distinctive names. States, colonies, provinces, cities, and other divisions of foreign governments are followed by their distinctive or official names as spelled in English.

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