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Greetings, EAD list,

We've been using EAD to encode our finding aids for a couple of years now,
and we've come to the general conclusion that it's best to avoid encoding
information into head elements and label attributes; we'd rather use
stylesheets for that. Archivists and curators working with various formats
of material --even within a single division in the library -- have asked the
encoding staff to use different wordings in the <head> element inside
<bioghist>, as well as other elements, and that has reinforced our feeling
that <head> and LABEL information really belongs in stylesheets. It's
display information, not information that describes a collection.

In the <bioghist> element, though, there's no TYPE or other appropriate
attribute available to indicate whether the element is being used as a
biographical note or an organizational history note. In order to distinguish
between the two note types in <bioghist>, it seems we have no choice but to
use the <head> element. Are we correct in this assumption? We could use the
value "545 0" (the MARC indicator for "biographical sketch") or "545 1" (for
"administrative history") in the ENCODINGANALOG attribute, but wouldn't it
be cleaner encoding for the long term (as well as easier to understand) if a
TYPE attribute were available in <bioghist> for this purpose? Am I missing
something really obvious (it wouldn't be the first time)?

Many thanks.

Marsha Maguire
Manuscripts and Special Collections Cataloging Librarian
University of Washington Libraries
P.O. Box 352900
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-8407
Fax: (206) 685-8782
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