I just convert the detailed inventories to PDF, and link to them using <extref>.  For catalog records, I put in a link to the catalog home page, with a brief statement about searching the catalog.  While EAD does allow for item-level description, when the items number in the hundreds or thousands, it makes sense to selectively put some of the descriptions outside of the finding aid.

Amy McCrory
Archivist, Cartoon Research Library
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH  USA

----- Original Message -----
From: MicheleR <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, May 9, 2005 5:34 pm
Subject: Connecting a finding aid to other listings of content

> Hello, Collective Wisdom!
> I'm puzzling over the best way to do the following.  We have a
> collectionconsisting of letters, documents, manuscripts, etc.  Out
> of this collection
> (approx. 14 boxes), there are a few hardcover books and some 200 case
> studies (small stapled booklets, ranging from 15 to 100 pages)
> that were
> published individually, with individual titles and authors,
> between 1950 and
> 1990.  Almost all of these have been catalogued at some point by other
> institutions, and we plan to catalog ours, with individual
> records, so
> they'll show up in an OPAC search.  We also have a box of 10 rolls of
> microfiche, for which we have a detailed (and lengthy) list of
> contents.
> The question is, how to best integrate this information with the
> EAD finding
> aid for the collection as a whole?  We want people who look at the
> overallcollection to know we have these case studies and books.
> But is listing all
> 200+ individually in the EAD finding aid the right way to go?  Or
> is it
> better to simply have one item in the EAD finding aid that says, "Case
> studies (200), see..."  See what? a txt file listing all the case
> studies?the OPAC? if the OPAC should we tell them what to search
> for so they find
> the records?
> Ditto with the microfiche.  Do I transplant the entire contents
> listing(long) into the EAD finding aid in toto?  Or do we have a
> one-liner that
> says, "Microfiche (10 rolls), see..."  Again, see what? A separate
> paperlisting?  A .txt file?  If a separate electronic file, shall
> we link it?
> I'm sure that there are any number of ways to go about this.  My first
> inclination is to provide the listing of cataloged material, and
> the listing
> of microfiche contents, as .txt files, and include a link to them
> in the EAD
> finding aid.  This would keep the EAD finding aid to a manageable
> size while
> still ensuring that the full listing is available to anyone whose
> interestedin seeing it.  Any thoughts on what would make the most
> sense as well as be
> most useful to our end users are welcome!!
> Thanks
> Michele Rothenberger