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Hi Justin --

1)  I don't think so.  

2)  I can't think of any pros.  I can think of a few cons right off the bat.  First, all the information in the two EAD files apart from the inventory will be the same, so if, say, the bioghist or the inclusive dates ever change you'll have to change it in two places; duplication of data is to be avoided wherever possible.  Second, the researcher will have to go through two different finding aids to locate material, which will be a nuisance for them.  Third, researchers don't care where stuff is stored, they just care about locating what they need in the finding aid; locating and retrieving is an internal problem.  Burdening the researcher with two finding aids just to make retrieval easier (which I assume is the rationale for this) seems...impolite, I guess?  Fourth, one of the points of EAD is to separate the intellectual order of the collection from the physical order, so artificially reintroducing this linkage seems a step backwards.

3) I'm curious why the physical location needs to be reflected by the finding aid at all.  If you're using some kind of collection management system seems like that would be the place to record the locations.  Some of our collections have three or four or more locations due to space, size, or environmental constraints; when we have to retrieve a particular box we just check our collection management database to see where it is.  If location absolutely has to be reflected in the finding aid, you could still just do one finding aid but include the location information either in the scope and content "Boxes 1-35 are on level A; Boxes 36-78 are on level B") or adding a prefix to the box number, e.g. <container type="Box">A-1</container>, <container type="Box">A-2</container>, <container type="Box">B-3</container> .

Michele

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Michele Combs
Manuscripts Librarian
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave.
Syracuse, NY  13244
315-443-2081
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-----Original Message-----
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Justin Lee Tyler
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: separate finding aids for single collection

Hi all. I've been asked to make two (or more) separate finding aids for a single collection which is split into two (or more) locations (and by location, I mean different floors in the same building.)

In other word, Stanton family papers might have two finding aids. One for the first half which is on level A, and one for the second half which is on level B... and so forth.

1) Is this common? 
and
2) What would be the pros and cons of doing this?
and
3) Any additional thoughts?

Let me know if I'm not being clear. :)

Thanks,
Justin

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Justin Lee Tyler
Cataloger / Special Collections and GovDocs
Bibliographic Division
Detroit Public Library
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