I suggest reading the chapter 9 of the canadian Rules for Archival Description (RAD) which is devoted to the description of documents in elctronic format.

This document contains many examples. I am sure EAD users will be able to figure out how to use EAD to describe "born digital" documents since RAD fields are often quite similar to EAD fields.

You can also find RAD-EAD equivalencies (for a crosswalk) at the following address :

Best regards,

Andre Kahle

At 14:22 2011-05-19, you wrote:
We're currently playing around with using the <altformavail> note at different levels to note digital copies of analog av.  Of course, this would not be appropriate for "born digital" materials.
At the collection level
<altformavail id="a17" encodinganalog="530">
<head>Alternative Forms Available</head>
<p>All of the sound recordings in this collection were digitized for research access in 2009-2010 and are available at the Archives of American Art offices.  Researchers may view the original reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback due to fragility. </p>
We will also be incorporating this element at the series/subseries level.  Presently, we do not note digital copies at the folder/item level, only the original format in a <physdesc> note. Since we're trying to keep it as simple as possible, we've played around with using only one <physdesc> to describe both the original and any analog duplicates.  Our thinking is that it needs to be easy enough for all of our processing archivists to understand, rather than just one av specialist because av materials come in so many mixed collections. 
<container type="box">5</container>
<container type="folder">35</container>
<container type=”item”>1</container>
<unittitle>Sam Adler interview, <unitdate>1967</unitdate></unittitle>
<physdesc>(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)</physdesc></did>   
<container type="box">5</container>
<container type="folder">36-38</container>
<container type=”item”>1</container>
<unittitle>John Smith Interview, <unitdate>1970</unitdate></unittitle>
<physdesc>(4 sound tape reels, 2 duplicate sound cassettes)</physdesc></did></c03>
I’m sure there are probably many other approaches to this problem as well, but it would be helpful if the community could also address the issue from the perspective of incorporating AV descriptions into larger EAD finding aids that include a mix of documents/paper and av.
Barbara D. Aikens
Chief, Collections Processing
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Ph: 202-633-7941
email:  [log in to unmask]
Mailing Address
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
Victor Bldg., Suite 2200, MRC 937
Washington, DC  20013-7012
-----Original Message-----
From: Encoded Archival Description List [ mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of BUTTARS Grant
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Distinction between analogue and digital archives in EAD
Hi Jane,
I was pondering this issue a while a go but never reached a firm conclusion.  My thoughts were more inclined towards <phystech> and perhaps nesting <phystech> elements as the situation requires it.
<phystech encodinganalog="isadg(2)344">
<head>Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements</head>
<p>This series contains several types of material in non-human-readable formats:</p>
      <phystech type="digital-cd-audio"><p>Audio recordings on CD</p></phystech>
      <phystech type="digital-pdf"><p>Formatted text in pdf format</p></phystech>
Note that the values of @type here are simply drawn from my head rather than any standardised list (is there one?)
Grant E. L. Buttars,
Deputy University Archivist,
Special Collections,
Centre for Research Collections,
Edinburgh University Library,
Information Services,
University of Edinburgh,
George Square,
EH8 9LJ.
tel: 0131 651 3852
Coming to consult something?  Please see for service information
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Encoded Archival Description List
> [ mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jane Stevenson
> Sent: 19 May 2011 10:53
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Distinction between analogue and digital archives in EAD
> Hi all,
> I wonder if anyone is using EAD to specify whether their
> archives are analogue or digital, or mixed? We could use
> <physfacet> for this, but it seems to be more about
> appearance. <genreform> would normally be for something like
> 'photographs' but it would not distinguish digital or
> otherwise. Maybe <genreform type='digital'>?
> <phystech> refer to the need for hardware/software to access
> archives, but I'm not sure it's the right thing to use for
> the basic fact of being digital.
> Whilst we don't really have digital archives described on the
> Hub at present, I think it will be useful to distinguish
> between analogue and digital in the future. If we were going
> to use EAD for this, I'd like to do it in the same way as
> others are doing.
> many thanks,
> Jane.
> Jane Stevenson
> The Archives Hub
> Mimas, The University of Manchester
> Devonshire House, Oxford Road
> Manchester M13 9QH
> email:[log in to unmask]
> tel: 0161 275 6055
> website:
> blog:
> twitter:
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.