Hierarchical numbering of the kind you describe is standard practice in many UK repositories - except that the number normally incorporates a collection reference, e.g.
Fonds or collection = DP12
First sub-fonds = DP12/1
First series = DP12/1/1 etc. etc.
The system gets out of hand if you have too many levels of description and insist on numbering them all, so some repositories just represent fonds/series/file in their references.
We wouldn't regard reference numbers as part of the title; they are encoded at each level in <unitid>.
V&A Museum Archives
Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, London W14 0QX
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>>> Stephanie Ashley <[log in to unmask]> 20/11/2001 14:20:28 >>>
As we continue to work on implementing EAD (we are currently in the process of assessing whether to adopt the encoding protocol of the EAD Cookbook) we've come across a problem and I'm hoping that some of you kind and knowledgeable people can give us some advice.
In our repository we commonly assign numbers to our series and subseries. We find that this enables us to reflect the hierarchical arrangement of the materials we are describing and to express the intellectual structure of our finding aids. Indeed, with large and complex collections which may have two or more series containing subseries of similar materials, it's a very useful way of clarifying which records belong to which series. Below is an example of how we've been encoding our series/subseries titles:
<c01><unittitle>Series 1: Correspondence, <unitdate>1913-1978</unitdate></unittitle>
<c02>><unittitle>1.1: New York Office Correspondence, <unitdate>1917-1930</unitdate></unittitle></c02>
<c02>><unittitle>1.2: Paris Office Correspondence, <unitdate>1913-1922</unitdate></unittitle></c02>
Although we believe the practice of numbering series/subseries is fairly common practice in archives, we've been unable to find many examples of EAD-encoded finding aids on the web that show these numbers in their unittitles. Is it considered bad practice to include an assigned series/subseries number in the <unittitle>? I understand that, strictly speaking, "Series 1" is not, for example, part of the unittitle for records labeled "Correspondence," but since a series title is essentially a term created by the archivist anyway, how big of a tagging sin is it to add a numerical value to that term? Can anyone foresee any problems with us continuing to encode our series/subseries titles in this way, particulary in regard to sharing our finding aids down the road?
Thanks for any input you can give us,
Archives of American Art
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