The first place I trained as a lowly graduate assistant had a way of doing
this for non-standard and standard containers before the advent of EAD that
I've found works well now that we have EAD. They have every box measured in
its relationship to a cubic foot, their standard (and many other archives)
in measuring. So the normal "Hollinger box" that measures 10"x12"x15" is
close to a cubic foot and is the largest box they use so they call that a
"1.0 cu. ft. box" and then there is the smaller size everyone makes that is
roughly 10"x15"x4" and they call that a "0.33 cu. ft. box," and so forth.
If every box is measured by its relation to a cubic foot and is standardized
in your repository, then it works fine to know what size of boxes you are
looking for when you go searching.
It also helps to add the function of the box - for instance, if a box is
created to hold postcards and they fit just perfectly, then call it a "0.xx
cu. ft. postcard box" or if it is one for artifacts, then call it a "0.xx
cu. ft. artifact box." EAD allows this type of relationship encoding (at
least, I've never had the parser say "no").
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Michele R Combs
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:16 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Weird containers
A question for the collective wisdom: how do you encode material in
non-standard containers? We have a set list of "accepted" terms for
primary <container> element (Box, Package, Oversize, Mapcase, etc) and
secondary (Folder, Drawer, Reel, etc). Occasionally we have items that
are in something weird -- a metal box, for example, or a camera case, or
a canvas bag, or a tube, or...
Is it better to only use the <container> element for a consistent list
of standard container types, and put the oddities in the abstract or
other descriptive element? Or should one use the <container> element
always, even for strange things? I can see arguments for both
approaches and wondered what others have done.
Special Collections Research Center
E.S. Bird Library
222 Waverly Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13244