thanks for your response. It is useful to have an idea of how these kind of decisions
were made. Here's a response to your suggestion that <frontmatter> or <odd> might
achieve the same result as the <note> element for encoding parts of the 'Overview'
section of our finding aids, used by two of the Yale repositories involved in the EAD
The idea of having an overview section in a finding aid is to make basic information
concerning the collection available to researchers in a concise form at the beginning
of the finding aid. This positioning immediately rules out using <odd>, which cannot
occur at the beginning of <archdesc>.
The two repositories with 'Overview' sections have decided to avoid using <frontmatter>
entirely, on the grounds that for us it would duplicate information present elsewhere
in the document for no good reason. We create a title page from <eadheader>. If we were
to introduce <frontmatter> merely for the 'Overview' section, we would repeat most of
this information in the <did> of <archdesc>, where it belongs.
We appreciate the virtue of not including information in <note> tags which belongs
elsewhere. I should clarify that most of the details in the section we call 'Overview'
is encoded in meaningful tags such as <did>, <arrangement>, <bioghist>, <scopecontent>
and <admininfo>. We only resort to <note> when we feel it is important that a piece of
information be available at a particular position which does not fit into any other
category. We do, however, use the value of the 'label' attiribute to display headings
for many elements in the 'Overview,' including <origination>, <unittitle> and
<physdesc>. Our current practice should become clearer in the near future when we are
able to make available to a wider audience the instances we are encoding.
Helena Zinkham wrote:
> The April Berkeley discussion on <note> was pretty long. Having thought,
> too, that <note> with a <head> was useful, here's why I, at least, agreed
> to give it up in the end .... each example we thought of could have been
> handled with another tag that seemed more specific about the content of
> the data. Sharon Thibodeau recalled the "Other Descriptive Data" tag
> (although that means shifting some data to later sequence in a finding aid
> text ... after ScopeContent and AdminInfo), and also the <frontmatter> tag
> for prefatory information about how to use a finding aid or overview of
> what it covers.
> It's very useful and interesting to hear how attractive the <note> element
> appears. Although you've found a work-around through the label attribute,
> would the <odd> or <frontmatter> tags also suffice for your circumstances?
> Does it concern many people that large chunks of finding aid texts might
> be tagged as <note> with a <head>? (Maybe others who were at Berkeley
> could describe more of the advantages to a headless note, or, when Daniel
> gets back from vacation we can hear more.)
> -- Helena
> On Sat, 22 Jun 1996, David Clough wrote:
> > MacKenzie,
> > here at Yale, we found it useful to have <head> in <note> too, to
> > allow some flexibility for squeezing in an 'Overview' section at the
> > beginning of finding aids in two of our repositories. Taking out the
> > <head> element certainly isn't an error, it was a deliberate and
> > documented change in the beta dtd. I'm not clear why.
> > The good news is that there is way to work around this. You can
> > display a heading for a <note> element by displaying the value of its
> > 'label' attribute. So instead of something like
> > <note>
> > <head>Further Information</head>
> > ...
> > </note>
> > you can use the more compact, but more involved
> > <note label="Further Information">
> > ...
> > </note>
> > and then specify in the style sheet that if the label attribute for a
> > note element is assigned, it should be displayed as a heading.
> > ----
> > David L. Clough
> > Reference Assistant, Yale Divinity Library
> > 409 Prospect Street, New Haven CT 06511, USA
> > email [log in to unmask] tel. (203) 432-5289
> > MacKenzie Smith wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I'm writing a conversion program for an old DataEase database into
> > > EAD-encoded finding aids, and need to use <note> elements for
> > > general purpose fields that probably should go into <bioghist> or
> > > <scopecontent> kinds of elements but can't because we don't know
> > > for sure without manually looking at their contents. In the draft
> > > tag library it says you can have <head> elements in <note>s, and
> > > an earlier beta version of the DTD allowed this, but the newest
> > > one does not. Was that a conscious decision? Or a mistake in the
> > > new DTD? It seems pretty useful to me to have headings available
> > > in note elements, don't you think?
> > >
> > > _____________________________________________________________________________
> > > MacKenzie Smith [log in to unmask]
> > > Office for Information Systems (617)495-3724
> > > Harvard University Library %\%\%\%\%\%\%\%\%\%\%\%\%\%
> > > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Helena Zinkham phone: (202) 707-2922
> Prints & Photographs Div. fax: (202) 707-6647
> Library of Congress email: [log in to unmask]
> Washington, DC 20540-4840
David L. Clough
Systems Assistant, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
New Haven CT 06510 USA
(203) 432-1750 [log in to unmask]