Sorry about the delayed response, I've been away.
I've had fairly extensive experience with converting EAD to HTML using
XSLT recently as part of my work in developing software to support the
Archives Hub in the UK (http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk), so thought I'd
chip in on the off chance that you haven't sorted this out yet.
I suspect this is due to the use of something like:
<!-- display a title row in the HTML table -->
<!-- display the title and date of the item -->
The <xsl:apply-templates/> will recursively apply all defined templates
(including the we're already inside) to everything within the current
context (in this case c[level='item']).
If you'd like to send me the xslt sheet and tell me which of the 2
different formats you'd like to keep, I could have a quick look and
hopefully advise you on which bits of the sheet to keep.
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