as others have said, this seems to me to be a logical confusion between the
physical layer and the symbolic/representational layer of control.

the intellectual description is not, and should not be in the design of our
discovery and access tools, actually tied to the physical--if a collection
is considered an organic whole, it should be described as a whole.

It could then be physically stored and *physically* accessed in 1 place, 3
or 500 places, or on a hard drive. The intellectual layer would be
unchanging in that case, and also in the case where the collection is moved
to a different storage location (or hard drive array).

I am curious, though, about how various institutions handle ongoing
accruals. We have some collections where we receive periodic donations, but
at irregular times. These are still considered part of the original
collection. I would think that an entry into the <accruals> tag or parallel
field in a database, would be sufficient.

Thoughts, tips?

Laurie Lee Moses
Archivist & Digital Librarian
Center for Black Music Research
Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL   60605
T: 312.369.7518
F: 312.369.8029