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Hello all,

In upgrading some EAD documents from the DTD to the newly-released W3C
Schema, we've run across an interesting inconsistency. We've been using
the role attribute on some of the controlaccess subelements. For several
of these (e.g., persname), role is defined in the tag library as "The
ROLE attribute can be used to specify the relationship(s) of the name to
the materials being described..." And that's how we used it for those
elements. We *also* used this attribute on the title element (within
controlaccess) for the same purpose, although I see now the tag library
doesn't contain the same definition under title as the others did. In
the W3C Schema, the role attribute on persname, etc., is still valid,
but for title, it's now xlink:role, which has an ENTIRELY different
meaning. 

So does this mean role actually meant something for title than persname
in the DTD too? That in the DTD version of EAD attributes with the very
same name could mean two different things, and one had to rely on
reading the DTD itself (aaaaa!) or gleaning indirect implications from
the tag library in order to know which was intended? 

That's enough ranting: down to my real question. I know EAD isn't in
active development, but if role (in the first meaning) is important
enough to include on *some* of the subelements of controlaccess,
shouldn't it be included on *all* of them? Now that the two meanings are
represented by attributes from different namespace in the Schema, we
could add them both to the same element, rather than having to pick
between them as the DTD required when they had the same name. Are there
any plans at all to make changes like this to EAD in the future?

Thanks,

Jenn

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Jenn Riley
Metadata Librarian
Digital Library Program
Indiana University - Bloomington
Wells Library W501
(812) 856-5759
www.dlib.indiana.edu

Inquiring Librarian blog: www.inquiringlibrarian.blogspot.com