I'm developing a database to compliment a website, but am not sure the most efficient way to add the names. The Omeka-generated website uses an indexed no duplicate "Item Number" for images. We are uploading the meta data including the names of the individuals in documents and pictures for some images, but for ledgers with a lot of pages the names will be extracted as we have time.

The intent is to create an index showing what items numbers (images) a name shows up on. The website has a search capability, but the primary purpose of the grant is preservation. We want a printed list, so someone down the road knows which file on an external hard drive to go to for a specific entry.

Most of the tables are straight forward, but the names are a concern. The fields will be last name, then given. These will be imported from spreadsheets. I'm currently thinking of having a table that has a unique number for each name (Smith or Smith, J. P. or Smith, John or Smith, John P. etc).

I'm wondering what is the easiest way to connect the names in the spreadsheets to the unique number for a matching name. The extracted names will come in batches over the next year. As the material is historical photographs, ledgers, school newspapers, etc., there will be a number of entries being added over the year for the same individuals. Right now, I don't remember how to connect each name to the unique number except manually with a drop down list.

Any suggestions on the best way to do this?