Archive References and Item Numbers

Hi everyone,

I recently completed a PhD on the history of formal education in the Highlands of Scotland c.1660–1745. I’ve been playing around with Tropy for a while now, but never had the chance to dive in head first, given the time constraints on my research project. Now that I have some time on my hands, I would ideally like to migrate my research photographs into Tropy. Up until now, I organised my research images/PDFs in hierarchical nested folders which matched the structure of the archives that I was working with.

While I love the concept and really like what I see in Tropy, I’m having some trouble with the basics. By default, I like to organise my material according the structure of the archive from which it is drawn. I was hoping I could achieve this in Tropy by using the ‘Identifier’ field to include the archival reference – however, I’ve noticed that when I try to sort the material by the Identifier, the field is treated as text. As a result, a reference e.g. GD95/10/2 comes after the reference GD95/10/100 (See image below).

I’ve tried playing around with the datatypes, changing the field type to integer for example. I’ve also tried creating a separate field for ‘Item Number’, but I can’t seem to get the items to sort by their item number.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Unfortunately the sort function currently is strictly string-based. We want to support a mixed sorting algorithm, often called ‘natural’ sort, going forward, that detects numeric values in text, based on locale-specific conventions, and switches the order accordingly – however this has been pushed back because of tricky implementation details. At the moment, there’s no definite timeline for this, but I will say that it is near the top of my personal wishlist.

Thank you! Good to hear that it’s in the pipeline. I’ve found a decent workaround for the moment i.e. using leading zeros for my references to ensure their correct order e.g. instead of GD95/10/1, GD95/10/10 and GD95/10/2 I have GD095/010/001 etc…