Dear Fabienne,

Here in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke
University, we often use two separate <dsc>s to describe one collection in
different ways.  That's why the type attribute is important, both to
separate the two types of description as well as to tell our stylesheet to
render the two different <dsc>s differently.
For collections that are fully processed, we generally use <dsc type
="analyticover"> to list the series and subseries names, along with the
range of <container>s in which the series and subseries can be found.  That
<dsc> includes a <head> that tells the inventory user that this <dsc> is a
List of Series.  Then, we use <dsc type="combined"> with a
<head>Description/Container List</head> that lists the series names and
scopecontent notes, subseries names and scopecontent notes, folder titles
within each series and subseries, and the specific <container>s in which
the folders are housed.  In earlier descriptive and encoding practice, we
also used the  <dsc type="in-depth"> when our container lists, as you point
out, did not contain scopecontent notes.

See, for example,

For collections that are minimally processed--where there is generally no
intellectual organization and the description is box by box in the order in
which the boxes were received--we use the <dsc type="combined"> for the
container list.  We sometimes add another <dsc type="othertype" othertype
="rearrangement"> at the end for large collections that have intellectual
groupings (correspondence for particular years, for example) that  are
obvious once all the boxes are minimally processed and described
consecutively.  This "virtual" rearrangement brings together all the box
numbers that contain the same kind of material (say, Boxes 5, 21, 67, and
98 for correspondence for 1990-1991).  The rearrangement hopefully makes it
easier for a user to find similar material, even though it might be
scattered throughout the physical arrangement of the collection, especially
in cases where a collection might not receive full processing for some

See, for example, and

Good luck!


Ruth Bryan
Archivist/Manuscript Cataloger
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library Duke University
Duke University
(919) 660-5982
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                      Fabienne Queyroux                                                                        
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                      Sent by: Encoded Archival          Subject:  <dsc> within <dsc>                          
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                      <[log in to unmask]>                                                                            
                      02/26/2003 10:06 AM                                                                      
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Hello all

Here in France we are working on the translation of the Application
guidelines. During our last session, we have stumbled on a problem
regarding <dsc> and its attribute TYPE. (Interestingly, none of us using
EAD in France had so far met the problem).

The Application guidelines recommend to use only one <dsc>. We would like
to know if any one on the list has had to use several <dsc>, more exactly a
<dsc> within another <dsc>, or <dsc> within <c>, and what were the reasons
to do so.

Also, we are a little perplexed regarding the distinction between the
values "in-depth" and "combined" for TYPE. As far as we can tell by looking
at the examples given, the major difference between them is the presence or
absence of an element <scopecontent> before the description really starts.

And anyway, what is the real use of that TYPE attribute here?

We will welcome any clarification. Thank you all for your help.

Fabienne Queyroux
Conservateur en chef chargé des collections de manuscrits
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Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France
23, quai de Conti
75006 Paris
Tél. 01 44 41 44 10
Fax 01 44 41 44 11