For multi-format archival collections held by the Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress I've prepared some item-level EAD descriptions of sound recordings (although we're just getting started on this). Duration does seem to me a statement of the extent of the audio content recorded, so I've been putting it in the <extent> element. Here's an example from our Allen Prescott Collection finding aid:
<extent>1 sound tape reel (9 minutes, 31 seconds)</extent> :
<physfacet>analog, 7 1/2 inches per second, full track, mono</physfacet> ;
Note that we're still following the AACR2 content standard, chapter 6, for the physical description of sound recordings, although we do not abbreviate any words (per DACS's recommendation to avoid abbreviation). If RDA is implemented (Resource Description and Access, the content standard that may replace AACR2 in the library world), we'll probably use "audiotape reel" rather than "sound tape reel" and add the width of the tape -- in this case, 1/4-inch -- to the <dimensions> element.
If you wanted more granularity (for tracking duration vs. quantity, for example), you could repeat the <extent> statement and use the LABEL attribute to identify exactly what is being described:
<extent label="quantity">1 sound tape reel</extent>
<extent label="duration">(9 minutes, 31 seconds)</extent>
Because we often need to describe audio content at the sub-item level (e.g., a track on a recording, a digital audio clip), we'd need to use "otherlevel" in the LEVEL attribute of the pertinent <c0x> and a term like "segment" in the OTHERLEVEL attribute.
This seems like a good time to alert others who work with archival sound recordings that the DACS for Archival Sound Recordings subcommittee of the ARSC Cataloging Committee (Association for Recorded Sound Collections) is working on a companion standard to DACS that is intended to provide guidance on describing sound recordings. Like DACS, it will focus on content rather than structure, but we'll include examples expressed in EAD, MARC, and other structural standards. For more information (and opinions on the above!), you can contact me at the email address below.
Marsha Maguire (chair of ARSC's DACS for Archival Sound Recordings Subcommittee)
Recorded Sound Cataloger
Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division
Library of Congress, Packard Campus
19053 Mount Pony Road
Culpeper, VA 22701-7551
email: [log in to unmask]
ph: (202) 707-8465; fax: (202) 707-0882
My opinions are my own and do not reflect Library of Congress policy.
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Megan McShea
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 10:41 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: <materialspec> for duration of sound recording or film?
We haven't encoded duration for any of our recordings in collections, but I thought I'd alert you to a compilation of EAD encodings of audiovisual material I created last year. You can look at it here:
There's a lot of variety, and few of the examples include duration at all.
There's an interesting use of <dimensions> from an Italian repository, Archivo Luce.
<materialspec> is an interesting usage though. If you'd feel comfortable sharing what you end up with, I'm looking to expand my "EAD for AV" document.
Archives of American Art