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EAD  March 1996

EAD March 1996

Subject:

Comments on Rostovzeff Example (long)

From:

"Janice E. Ruth" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 20 Mar 1996 17:27:07 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (286 lines)

Greetings,

I just finished reviewing the Rostovzeff finding aid which
Berkeley posted on its ftp site last week.  Thanks Daniel (and
Alvin, Campbell, and Gabriela) for giving us a more complex
example to ponder.  I mentioned in a separate message to Daniel
that I had some questions about the use of specific tags, and he
encouraged me to post my comments on the list.  I don't think
that either he or I anticipated such a long list of comments, but
here it is--the good, the bad, and the trivial.

Mostly I confined my remarks to issues of tag selection and usage
and decided to leave questions relating to <tspec>s, Panorama,
and other formatting issues for later discussion.  (Daniel
promises to give us a report on Berkeley's experiments with
different approaches.)  I realize that the absence of a tag does
not mean that the Berkeley folks were unaware of its existence.
They are undoubtedly experimenting with levels of tagging in the
same way that I and others at LC are doing.  Some of my comments
are definitely "nit-picking," but others are intended to
highlight the options available in various circumstances.  I hope
that this is of interest to the list.

Janice

Janice E. Ruth
Manuscript Division
Library of Congress

*************************
A.   EAD Header

     1.   I was surprised that you elected not to include more
          information in the header.  You included only the title
          of the finding aid, and you were required to open four
          tags in order to capture this one piece of information.
          I probably would have included more of the information
          from the title page (and from elsewhere in the finding
          aid), especially since I would have already opened the
          <titlestmt> and <filedesc> elements to include the
          <titleproper>.  Although the dtd currently requires
          only a <titleproper>, it strikes me that we may want to
          develop some consensus about the type of information
          that everyone will provide in their headers.  For
          example, I might have included the following for
          Rostovzeff (this of course assumes that I have
          understood correctly the use of the <eadheader>
          subelements):

          <eadheader>
               <filedesc>
                    <titlestmt>
                         <titleproper> Register of the Papers of
                              Michael Ivanovitch Rostovzeff
                              </titleproper>
                         <author> Daniel Daily assisted by Sallie
                              Locke and Brent Johanson </author>
                    </titlestmt>
                    <publicationstmt>
                         <publisher> Special Collections Library,
                              Duke University </publisher>
                         <address> <addressline> Durham, North
                              Carolina </addressline> </address>
                         <date> November 20, 1992 </date>
                    </publicationstmt>
               </filedesc>
               <profiledesc>
                    <creation> Finding aid encoded by [Alvin
                         Pollack? Campbell Crabtree? Gabriela
                         Montoya?], University of California,
                         Berkeley, 1996. </creation>
                    <langusage> Finding aid is written in
                         <language> English. </language>  The
                         archival materials in the Rostovzeff
                         Papers are written in <langmaterial>
                         English, Latin, French, German, Spanish,
                         Russian, and Italian. </langmaterial>
                         </langusage>
               </profiledesc>
          </eadheader>

     2.   Where do you record the name of the person who encoded
          the finding aid and the date when the encoding was
          done?  Should the November 22, 1992, date be part of
          the author statement, and the <publicationstmt> <date>
          be reserved for the date of encoding?  Or should we
          leave as written above, and put details about the date
          and name of encoder under <profiledesc> <creation>, or
          perhaps under <revisiondesc> <change>?

B.   Title Page

     1.   I am still a little unclear about the role of the title
          page since much of the same information is captured in
          the <eadheader>.  I thought that the purpose of the
          <titlepage> element was to facilitate formatting of the
          information for printing or other means of display.  If
          that is correct, don't you need to use linebreaks <lb>
          to achieve a desired look?

     2.   I noticed that you moved information about the author
          and date from the last page of the finding aid to the
          title page.  You retained the headings "Processed by:,"
          "Assisted by:," and "Date completed:" by enclosing them
          within <label> tags inside a <list>, inside a <p>.
          Would it have been possible to achieve the same result
          by typing those labels as text contained within
          <author> and <date> content tags?  For example:

          <author> Processed by: Daniel Daily <lb>
          Assisted by: Sallie Locke and Brent Johanson <lb>
          </author>
          <date> Date completed: November 20, 1992 </date>

     3.   I suppose the identification of authorship will vary
          from one repository to another, but I wonder whether
          Duke would prefer to list individual staff members as
          authors and the institution as the publisher.
          Regardless of that decision, however, I would only use
          one <author> element for a corporate entity, i.e., I
          probably would not list, as you did, Special
          Collections Library as an <author> and Duke University
          also as an <author>.  I would type <author> Special
          Collections Library, Duke University </author>.

     4.   What does "&copy:" mean?  It appears just before the
          <titlepage> element is closed.

C.   Descriptive Identification (<did>)

     I just wanted to point out that the use of the label
     attribute is optional.  The tagged text may appear without
     the heading or label preceding it.

D.   Administrative Information (<admininfo>)

     1.   Again, the use of headings is optional.  I imagine that
          my division might use a head for each major section of
          the finding aid, e.g., Administrative Information,
          Biographical Note, Scope and Content Note, etc., but
          skip the use of headings for paragraphs within those
          sections, e.g., Provenance and Copyright under
          Administrative Information.

     2.   Do you really want a period after Administrative
          Information in the heading?

E.   Biographical Note

     1.   You used the <chronlist> just as I imagined it would be
          used.

     2.   I noticed that you did not tag published works as
          <title>s nor indicate that they should be rendered in
          italics.  Was this a conscious decision to minimize
          tagging, a reflection of the bug in the <emph> element,
          or an oversight?

F.   Scope and Content Note

     1.   The word "note" was omitted from the heading.

     2.   The titles of the series and subseries appeared in
          boldface in the original printed version.  I presume
          that this could have been replicated through the <emph>
          element if <emph> accepted pcdata as intended.  Also, I
          presume that you could put in <ref> tags to link a
          section of the Scope and Content Note to the related
          section of the Container List.

G.   Combined Series Description/Container List

     1.   If desired, you could have added level attributes: <c01
          level=series> and <c02 level=subseries>.

     2.   I believe that "n.d." should appear within the
          <unitdate type="inclusive"> tags.

          For example, you typed <unitdate type="inclusive">
          1918-1968, </unitdate> <unitdate type="bulk"> n.d.
          (bulk 1926-1954). <unitdate>

          I think it would be more accurate to type <unitdate
          type="inclusive"> 1918-1968, n.d. </unitdate> <unitdate
          type="bulk"> (bulk 1926-1954). <unitdate>

     3.   I dislike having to open a new <p> to use the
          <arrangement> element within the <scopecontent>
          element.  The arrangement statement often consists of
          no more than a single short sentence or phrase.  As
          originally written, the scope notes in the series
          descriptions of the Rostovzeff finding aid are one
          paragraph each.  In the encoded version, they have been
          divided into at least two paragraphs so that the
          <arrangement> element could be used.  The result is
          several one-sentence paragraphs.  To remedy this, I
          guess that we would have to add <arrangement> to the
          list of elements that may be used within a <p>.

     4.   I am not sure I agree with the use of <origination>
          within the folder headings for the named individuals in
          the Individuals Subseries (Boxes 1-2), but I think I
          understand why you chose it.  The definition for
          <origination> is "the individual or organization
          responsible for the creation or assembly of the
          materials. . ."  Since the Individuals Subseries
          includes incoming as well as outgoing letters, the
          <origination> element seems inaccurate.  Also, I would
          think that you would want to use the tag <unittitle>
          for consistency with the other folder headings.  I
          assume that you chose not to use <unittitle> because
          the only elements available under <unittitle> are
          <unitdate> and the Basic Phrase-Level Elements (cross
          reference elements, linking and formatting,
          abbreviation, and expansion).  In other words, the dtd
          currently does not allow the following, which I happen
          to think is a more accurate content description:

          <drow> <dentry> <unittitle> <persname> Arangio-Ruiz,
          Vincenzo, </persname> <unitdate> 1938, Feb.-1953, May
          </unitdate> </unittitle> </dentry> </drow>

          To remedy this, we may want to make available under
          <unittitle> All the Phrase-Level Elements.

     5.   Container numbers were mistagged <extent> rather than
          <unitloc type="container" on two occasions.  See the
          entries for "Wilammitz" in Box 2 and "Russian" in Box
          3.

     6.   Did you intend to render the <title>, The Cambridge
          Ancient History, in "bolditalics" or did you want
          "italics?"

     7.   I noticed that in the original finding aid, the
          container number is only recorded once, even if it
          spans over several series.  In the encoded version, a
          container location was given each time a new series was
          described.  Was this something the dtd required or
          simply a formatting preference of the encoder?  We have
          not yet tried the combined <dsc> in my division, so I
          have not run into this situation before.

     8.   For consistency with the other series, you may want to
          add a type attribute (value= "inclusive") to the
          <unitdate> in the <did> under "Miscellaneous Series."

     9.   When would we use the <dogrp> element?  I wonder if the
          entityref="rostovt3" and entityref="rostovt4" make up a
          <dogrp> or just two separate <do>s?  (See Pictures
          Subseries)

     10.  Perhaps we need another value under the <unitdate> type
          attribute for "undated".  Currently, the values are
          "inclusive," "bulk," "single," and "questionable."  I
          don't think that we intended "questionable" to be used
          for undated material, but rather for items with a
          supplied or questionable date.

H.   Oversize Materials

     I was very interested to see how you handled the oversize
     materials.  For reasons which are not altogether clear to
     me, I and others in my division usually treat oversize
     materials as a separate series and list them as such in the
     series description and container list.  Intellectually this
     is a bit of a problem, and I can foresee tagging
     complications where a <c01> series in the main container
     list becomes a <c02> subseries in the Oversize list because
     we tag the <unittitle> "Oversize" as <c01>.

     By removing the Oversize Materials from the combined <dsc>
     for Rostovzeff, you avoided this problem but still ran into
     a tagging problem.  You opened a <c01> element but do not
     appear to have identified it.  It strikes me that the <c01>
     tags in the Oversize list should correspond to the <c01>
     tags in the combined <dsc> since they are indeed the same
     series.  Thus, the Oversize list would contain only <c01>s
     (Correspondence Series and Miscellaneous Series) and <c02>s
     (Individuals Subseries, Biographical Materials Subseries,
     Writings Subseries, Financial Papers Subseries, and General
     Subseries) since the description does not extend beyond the
     subseries headings.  There are no <c03>s listed.

That's all folks!

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