Michael Fox and I have given 11 workshops on the application of EAD (#12 is
next week in Toronto), and have some suggestions to make regarding Beta.
One of my suggestions is to "unbundle" the <did> element at the component
While it makes a good deal of sense to group the <did> elements
(specifically <repository>, <origination>, <unittitle>, <unitdate>, etc.)
at the beginning of the finding aid or highest level of description, at the
component level (container list) it simply adds to the tagging overhead.
Every time you want to use <unitloc> for a box or folder number and
<unittitle> for a folder heading, you have to open a <did> to get to them.
If this suggestion is adopted, the <did> elements would be available
directly within <c> and <c01>. The <did> element must continue to be
available at the component level, so that existing markup is not
<unitloc loctype="container" containertype="box">1</unitloc>
<unitloc loctype="container" containertype="folder">1</unitloc>
With the suggested change, the <did> and </did> would disappear. This may
seem like a very small change (especially if this markup is completely
automated), but I think anything we can do to simplify the markup in the
part of a finding aid that is most densely tagged without losing the
structure is to our advantage.
I'd also like to remind everyone that August 22nd, the deadline for the
comment period, is fast approaching!
Chair, SAA Committee on Archival Information Exchange
Chair, SAA CAIE EAD Working Group
Head, Department of Manuscripts and Archives
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78713-7219
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