Minnesota  State Archives

Electronic Records Management Guidelines

File Naming
Annotated List of Resources

Primary Resources:

Cool URIs Don't Change. In: Style Guide for Online Hypertext. Cambridge, MA: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), 1998.

This section of the complete style guide discusses the file naming concepts for the World Wide Web to ensure the accuracy of links and the longevity of the names.

Digital Preservation Education for North Carolina State Government Employees. Digital Preservation Tutorial: File Naming. December 2011.

A four-part video tutorial describing why file naming is important, how to change a file name, what not to do when changing a file name, and best practices for file naming.  These videos show how deliberate file naming can lead to responsible file management and ongoing digital preservation. 

Naming and Addressing: URIs, URLs,…

These web pages describe the relationship of URIs, URLs, and URNs. The pages also provide links and other information about other file naming topics for the web, such as metadata, markup languages, events, and history.


The OCLC PURL Service provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject of PURLs. Available from this web site are Frequently Asked Questions on PURLs, introductions to the subject, and the opportunity to create and modify a PURL.


Additional Resources:

Wikipedia. File Naming. Last update 29 February 2012.

An article that describes ‘filename’ in association with computer systems.  More information is also provided about reserved characters and words within file names as well as a comparison of file name limitations for various systems. 


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Electronic Records Management Guidelines, March 2012, Version 5.

Links verified March 13, 2012.