My experience would answer "it depends".
But in practice the <CONTAINER/>; <UNITID/> are descriptive elements.
The collection can be arranged by any of the descriptive elements
that any item possesses.
Since I deal with legacy documents, these are in a specific order in
the word processing document. That order becomes the order of the
coded EAD document. (Most of the time, unless it is really a mess and
needs to be redone. Something I have done, but try hard not to.)
In applying the EAD elements to descriptive phrases in a finding aid
I have found that the MARC cross-over to be very helpful. The truth
is that many finding aids are created as a DSC that matches their
formatted word processing document. Everything from the composer to
title to note gets a new component. This is really incorrect. My
experience is that what you have in a finding aid container list is
either a heading or an item. Each item may or may not have
descriptive phrases (physical description, notes, copyright date,
lyricist, etc.). The component is really like a MARC record. I mean
the DID and its siblings (not the next component of course). Once you
reach the level of item in your DSC there should be no deeper
components. (My personal preference anyway...)
Further, there is some need to deep-code what most fits your
particular institution specialty. For our finding aids I spend the
most time on the music and music related materials. Although,
correspondence is always important. Other items get less detailed
coding. I don't deep code notes.
Another point would be just to understand the pieces of the EAD
coding structure. Briefly:
EADHEADER = about the finding aid as a document (title page; and
verso publication information)
ARCHDESC/DID = the collection level record information
ARCHDESC/*[old ADMININFO children] = almost all of the rest of the
immediate children are from the collection level record
= SCOPECONTENT and BIOGHIST are usually from the finding aid
ARCHDESC/DSC = container list
ARCHDESC/* [old ADD children] = indexes and other lists that
accompany the finding aid document
I can't tell you how much I profited from Daniel Pitti's class at the
Rare Book school back in 2001. It was like taking a Shakespeare
course with angel brackets. :) [If you are mad be gone, if you have
reason be brief, it is not that time of moon with me to make such
skipping a dialogue.]
Library of Congress
--- MicheleR <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> When implementing EAD for finding aids for manuscript/archive
> does the structure of the finding aid more often reflect the
> organization of a collection or does it reflect the physical
> It seems to me from my initial (thus far brief) study of EAD that
> structure of the finding aid needs to match the structure of the
> collection, otherwise elements like CONTAINER aren't really very
> right? On the other hand, if one makes the FA structure match the
> collection, a library's FAs are likely to be inconsistent since
> collections are organized different ways. Is this a problem?
> Thoughts on
> this that might help guide a novice?
> Michele Rothenberger
> Syracuse University
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