We encountered the same situation with our conversion project. We made the decision to include information about missing parts of a collection in the finding itself, including a note at the most appropriate level. 

The EAD tag library says that <scopecontent> may be used to describe "gaps" in a collection, and missing materials certainly are that.

If an entire container (box) is missing, we usually note that information in a <scopecontent> nested within the main <scopecontent> and include a <head> that reads "Missing Material."

We also note missing material at the appropriate component level, again using <scopecontent>.

Michael Doylen, Ph.D. 
Archives Dept. Head 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
UWM Libraries / Archives Department 
P.O. Box 604 
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0604 

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414-229-6980 (business) 
414-229-3605 (fax) 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michele R Combs" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 11:46:06 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: EAD encoding and missing items

Hello all --

In the process of converting some 2000+ finding aids to EAD, we
occasionally have need to consult the collection itself to clear up some
questionable areas of the inventory or to double check box numbers or
etc etc etc.  Once in a while, this consultation of the actual stuff
reveals that a box or tube or folder or etc is missing.  Now of course
internally we log this, and try to find the item(s) or otherwise account
for them, because we want to know where all our stuff is at all times
(ideally, anyway...).

My question is the best way to handle this in the publicly-accessible
EAD inventory.  Among our thoughts:

* We can hold off putting the entire inventory online until the missing
item is located or otherwise accounted for.
* We can omit the missing item from the inventory; we can include it in
the inventory but comment it out so it won't be visible to the public.
* We can include it in the inventory but add a note saying "This item
not presently available for research".
* We can include it in the inventory visible to the public and add a
note saying flat-out "Missing" and the date.
* ???

What have others done as they encounter this during conversion?


..Michele Combs..
..Manuscripts Librarian..
..Special Collections Research Center..
..E.S. Bird Library..
..Syracuse University..
..222 Waverly Ave...
..Syracuse, NY  13244..