How Do You Properly File Alphabetically?

In accordance with the recommendations of the American Library Association, alphabetical filing should be performed in the sequence of the alphabet’s ascending letters, starting with A and proceeding through Z. This indicates that names or objects starting with the letter A come first in the filing system. When there are numerous names or things that begin with the same letter, the order is decided by the subsequent letters in the names or things, starting with the second letter and going up from there.

  1. Find out the initial letter of the item that has to be submitted. It is essential to identify, prior to filing documents in accordance with the names of persons, whether the filing will be done according to the first or the last name of the individual.
  2. When words start with the same letter, the second letter will be used as the default. If two words start with the same letter, the default for which letter to use is the second letter in the word. If two words have the same initial two letters, the third letter should be used as the default, and so on.
  3. Put the names of the persons on the file before the names of the things. When the objects that need to be filed include both people and goods, the people should be filed away first. As a general guideline, you should always file animate things before filing any inanimate ones.
  4. Consider all surnames that start with Mac or Mc to be spelt Mac even if they don’t start with those letters. It is appropriate to treat as equivalent the spellings of last names that begin with either Mac or Mc. The preceding rule does not apply to surnames that begin with an O and are then followed by an apostrophe. Those things need to be placed under the heading “starting with O.”