We use it largely to link to digitized collections or portions of a collection. Virginia Tech has a database of digitized images, Imagebase, which contains material from some of our collections. Imagebase is not actively being added to at this point in time, so digitizing done on more recent collections is treated through <dao> or <extref>. We use <altformavail> to link to those jpgs, pdfs, etc., too. Since we contribute to Virginia Heritage, we work with a style sheet developed by the project initially. Our <altformavail> is part of the Administrative Information. I've included a couple of links below. In some cases, it's just a note referencing another part of the finding aid. (I'm the first person to have my position in the department and am taking every opportunity to experiment with tags that weren't being used previously. Sadly, internal references and pointers don't work with our present style sheet.) In other cases, there is a link directly out to the resource. 
	Of course, that's how we're doing things now...I'm in the process of migrating existing data Archivists' Toolkit for our department, which is going to change some of what we're doing. To complicate matters, we're in the midst of a website redesign and would like to see us hosting our finding aids on our on site, as well as in Virginia Heritage. I don't, however, see us ceasing use of <altformavail> down the road, since we are trying to make as much accessible as possible.

  I'm happy to send the code if you want to see it...

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Kira A. Dietz, MA, MLS
Acquisitions and Processing Archivist
Special Collections
Virgina Tech, University Libraries
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-----Original Message-----
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michele R Combs
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 11:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: altformavail - being used?

Just wondering if this element is in general use, if so how, and where in the finding aid do you display it?  

To date we have to date simply been including microfilm versions of items in the inventory as part of the collection, and linking to on-line digital versions of material either via an archref in the Related materials section (if it is a standalone digital collection) or via the dao (if there are only a few scattered items in our general digital repository).  But I'm wondering whether we ought to be using the altformavail.  All thoughts welcome.

Thanks --


(be green - don't print this email!)
Michele Combs
Manuscripts Librarian
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave.
Syracuse, NY  13244
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