OK, here's another <dao>-related question.  

Let's suppose that the Smith Library has a collection that includes typewritten transcripts of interviews.  Let's further suppose that some other institution -- we'll call it the Jones Library -- has scanned images of these transcripts in PDF files.  To keep it simple, let's suppose that the paper and digital have always belonged to their respective institutions so it's not a case of <separatedmaterial>.

In such a case, is it appropriate for the Smith Library to use  <dao>s in their finding aid at the item level, next to the listing of the typed copy, to link to the digitized version at the Jones Library?

On the one hand, the PDFs certainly are digitized versions of items in the collection, so <dao> seems appropriate.  On the other hand, the digital objects don't belong to the Smith Library so perhaps <extref> is more appropriate.  (I won't even go into whether <archref> might be appropriate.  What's that you say?  EAD has too many linking elements?  Pshaw!)  Or perhaps, since the PDFs don't belong to the Smith Library, nothing should be linked at the item level but instead just an <altformavail> up at the collection level.  So many options...  

My guess is that this situation is not unique and will become increasingly common as institutions collaborate on digitization efforts.   Your thoughts?   


Michele Combs
Librarian for Manuscripts and Archives Processing
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University
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