Hello Deborah,

At York University, we are separating our fonds, series, and file list
descriptions into separate XML files and bringing all of the "chunks"
together using external entity references, a technology available in XML
generally as well as EAD specifically.  Our fonds level descriptions can
stand on their own as well-formed and valid EAD instances.  The various
series and file list descriptions only contain as much EAD tagging as
required to tag those particular parts of description.  The series and
file list descriptions are "registered" with the appropriate fonds level
descriptions and external entity references are made.  If you then open
the fonds level description with Internet Explorer, the information is
pulled together from all of the referenced files and displayed in the
browser as unified document. (Bear in mind that you will simply see a
structured document with the tagging, nothing fancy.)

You just need to be sure to make the references in the correct locations
in the master document.

We are doing this because many of our fonds are very large, records are
continuously arriving and we can not hold up supplying a finding aid
because we are waiting for yet another accession to be processed, and it
will help us move descriptions in the event that custodial arrangements
change over time.

This is an approach you could test without having to do any
programming.  You only need to use a text editor to input the external
entity references.  A recent version of Internet Explorer should pull
the information together for you if the references are correct.  You may
wish to test working with external entities with some small test files

I hope this answers some of your questions.



Deborah Wilson wrote:
> Hello everyone
> I am a South African student, doing a study of the EAD design and am new to
> this forum. As I have a minimal technical infrastructure, some of my
> conclusions cannot be tested and I need some advice.
> If one has an open record group which has already been encoded into an EAD
> document, can one create a new document for further material, and then merge
> the two (or more) programmatically? Is this only done for an output e.g.
> finding aid, or can and should a merged EAD document be created? Is it
> preferable to add the material onto the existing document? What if there are
> two different creators (agencies)?
> Thank you
> Deborah

Ken Hernden, MLIS
Adjunct Archivist
York University Archives & Special Collections
Scott Library, Room 305
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
(416) 736-5442  FAX (416) 650-8039