From recent postings to the list, it appears that most alpha-testers are
trying to use the tabular/column forms permitted by the EAD. In the
Harvard group, although that did seem the easiest way to implement the
EAD, we have decided that this is not the wisest long-term course,
preferring to focus on describing the content rather than the layout.
There are 49 different archival repositories at Harvard, so we're
interested in a model that will accommodate differences, but that will
also allow us to display all Harvard finding aids in a uniform way. So we
have chosen the recursive model, using <c> to delimit a unit of
description in the container listing.
We also believe that there may be some problem in using <c01>, etc.,
because again, a <c01> in a Houghton finding aid is probably going to be a
different animal that a <c01> in a Schlesinger finding aid. And it may
vary between finding aids at the same repository. In other words, a <c03>
in one section may be used to describe a folder, where the <c03> in
another section may be used to describe an item within a folder.
All the examples distributed thus far use tables. People are using tables
within <c>s to mark-up inventories according to format, instead of using
<did> and other elements within <c>s to mark-up intellectual content. And,
<dentry> can include all sorts of elements that a <did> cannot.
There a several minor points that have come up, which I will post to the
list later, but a major concern I have is the difficulty I have of
describing the content of the folder in a way that minimizes duplicative
re-keying. An example may make this easier to understand:
(As it looks without coding)
(1) Lippman, Walter, 1889-1974.
25 letters to Hazel Albertson; 1910-1918.
(How *I* think this folder description should be coded for content)
<controlaccess><persname source="lcnaf">Lippman, Walter,
<unittitle>25 letters to <controlaccess><persname
What I want to do here is to embed the information about how I want to
index the names (by using the controlaccess) in the description itself,
but this is not allowed in the DTD. I might equally well have begun the
<unittitle> before Lippman, since Lippman, the author of the letters, is
part of the descriptive information about this folder of material. If the
folder had contained photographs as well as letters, I would have wanted
to embed a <genre> tag. Yet, within <c> I cannot use <controlaccess>,
<genre>, or <unitdate>.
This is enough for one posting, I think. Another one on "minor" points
Leslie A. Morris
Curator of Manuscripts
Houghton Library, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
e-mail: [log in to unmask]