Hello again, Tara Kennedy, Preservation Services Librarian at Yale University Library offered the following advice. She also offered to be in touch, so if you’d like to connect with her personally please let me know your email. Hope it’s helpful:
There are a TON of metadata standards for digitization of archives. SAA has a list here: http://www2.archivists.org/standards/external/123
There are many standards one can follow and it depends on institutional practice. In general, the National Archives (http://www.archives.gov/preservation/technical/guidelines.pdf) recommends the following for file naming conventions:
– Are unique.
– Are consistently structured.
– Take into account the maximum number of items to be scanned and reflect that in the number of digits used (if following a numerical scheme).
– Use leading 0s to facilitate sorting in numerical order.
– Do not use an overly complex or lengthy naming scheme that is susceptible to human error during manual input.
– Use lowercase characters and file extensions.
– Use numbers and/or letters but not characters such as symbols or spaces that could cause complications across operating platforms.
– Record metadata embedded in file names (such as scan date, page number, etc.) in another location in addition to the file name. This provides a safety net for moving files across systems in the future in the event that they must be renamed.
– Sequencing information and major structural divisions of multi-part objects should be explicitly recorded in the structural metadata (ie the intellectual or physical elements of the digital object) and not only embedded in the file names. So, in an archival collection, it would be important to delineate divisions between folder contents, for example.
– Although it is not recommended to embed too much information into the file name, a certain amount of information can serve as minimal descriptive metadata (ie information that describes the resource eg title, author, etc.) for the file as an economical alternative to the provision of richer data elsewhere.
– Alternatively, it may be more practical to use a simple numbering system. An intellectually meaningful name will then have to be correlated with the digital resource in the database.
For a description of the different types of metadata, check this out: http://marciazeng.slis.kent.edu/metadatabasics/types.htm