After being run by various Arkansas scene supporters, Matt Werth became the manager of File Thirteen and moved to Philadelphia for college. File Thirteen became a centerpiece of Philly's independent music scene. Matt Werth of the band Aspera partnered with fellow musicians Adam Goren of Atom and His Package and Brian Sokel of AM/FM and Franklin to release albums from groups like Lenola, Matt Pond PA, National Skyline, Antartica Burning Brides, Bent Leg Fatima, and Lilys.
Matt, Brian, and Atom all decided to retire label ownership in 2002 after releasing the debut from Need New Body and an Atom and his Package EP. Longtime contributors Stephen Schmidt ( Chino Horde and Thumbnail member) and Justin Sinkovich (Thumbnail, Sterling, The Poison Arrows, and Atombombpocketknife member, co founder of Epitonic.com and betterPropaganda.com) resurrected File Thirteen in their home city of Chicago, Illinois that year. By 2005’s end, Stephen and Justin released music by the Chicago, Illinois groups Red Eyed Legends, Sterling, The Dishes, Atombombpocketknife, The Poison Arrows and TRS-80; plus albums by New York City's Martin Rev (of Suicide), Odiorne The Silent League and Philadelphia's Need New Body. 2005 also found File Thirteen releasing albums by bands from abroad for the first time -- Tokyo’s My Way My Love and Bologna Italy’s Franklin Delano.
Its name is derived from the slang file 13.