On the contrary, the <container> element makes it possible for the finding
aid to reflect the intellectual structure of the collection but still be
able to reconstruct the physical order if needed. Although I have never
actually tried it myself, it should be possible to create a stylesheet that
would sort the component level descriptions into order based on the content
of the <container> elements.
As far as you question of which structure is more often used (physical vs.
intellectual), I would guess that more often it reflects the physical
organization, in part because most often the collection has been physically
arranged to reflect the intellectual structure. So both are one in the
same. However, especially with large collections that have frequent
accruals, my sense is that it is become more common to organize the finding
aid to reflect the intellectual structure of the collection.
I'm not sure I understand your comment about finding aids that match the
physical structure of the collection being less consistent since different
collections are organized differently. I don't think this would be any
less of a problem if finding aids match the intellectual structure of a
collection, because collections have different intellectual structures, too.
Lara D. Friedman-Shedlov
Kautz Family YMCA Archives
University of Minnesota Libraries
[log in to unmask] 612.626.7972
At 10:51 AM 10/18/04 -0400, you wrote:
>When implementing EAD for finding aids for manuscript/archive collections,
>does the structure of the finding aid more often reflect the intellectual
>organization of a collection or does it reflect the physical organization?
>It seems to me from my initial (thus far brief) study of EAD that the
>structure of the finding aid needs to match the structure of the physical
>collection, otherwise elements like CONTAINER aren't really very useful,
>right? On the other hand, if one makes the FA structure match the physical
>collection, a library's FAs are likely to be inconsistent since different
>collections are organized different ways. Is this a problem? Thoughts on
>this that might help guide a novice?
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