The Minnesota Historical Society uses the altrender attribute in a somewhat
similar way.   The text of our "table of contents" consists of a series of
icons rather than the text taken directly from <head> elements.  While we do
include <head> elements in the body of the finding aid, we use a value in
@altrender to determine whether the icon that reads "Administrative History"
or the one that says "Biography" appears.

That said, Marsha's suggestion for a type attribute has merit.

On the other hand, I am not sure that personally agree that all this display
information should always be left to the stylesheet.  I think that it is
probably useful to include heads and labels, if only as a default when
finding aids leave the creating institution or consortium and go off to who
knows where to be interpreted by a stylesheet that may assume their


-----Original Message-----
From: "J. Tomás Nogales" [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 2:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Question about <bioghist>

     I agree with Marsha in that "it's best to avoid encoding
information into head elements and label attributes". But, if you
consider "<head> and LABEL information really belongs in stylesheets", I
think you should use @ALTRENDER in <bioghist> to distinguish
biographical note or an organizational history note by means of its
value (say, "biog" or "orgh"). So, the stylesheet (XSL or even CSS2)
could place the correct heading (say, "Biographical note" or
"Organizational history"), based on the value of @ALTRENDER in
<bioghist>. Of course, if you feel you have a display problem; this is a
poor solution if you think of it as a semantic matter...
     Sorry; my written english isn't very good...

Marsha Maguire wrote:
> 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
> 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
> between the two note types in <bioghist>, it seems we have no choice but
> use the <head> element. Are we correct in this assumption? We could use
> value "545 0" (the MARC indicator for "biographical sketch") or "545 1"
> "administrative history") in the ENCODINGANALOG attribute, but wouldn't it
> be cleaner encoding for the long term (as well as easier to understand) if
> 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
> [log in to unmask]

J. Tomas Nogales              |         voz: (+34) 91 624 92 50
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