This is the third in a series of emails in which I will highlight upcoming changes to EAD.  As I previously wrote, I hope this stimulates discussion and comment, and serves as inspiration for the EAD community to engage with the beta release of EAD3.  More information on the revision and the beta comment form are available at  

Updating Access Terms

In order to support multi-part access terms, <controlaccess> elements (persname, corpname, famname, name, subject, geogname, function, occupation, and title) will now require one or more <part> elements.  For example, it will now be possible to encode the equivalent of MARC subfields.  

Support Multi-Language Finding Aids

In order to better support the encoding of finding aids containing multiple languages and scripts, we have added language code and script code attributes (@lang and @script) to all non-empty EAD elements.  We are also in the midst of a review to make sure all appropriate elements can repeat to support multi-language description.

Align with XHTML

Where feasible, we have made modest changes to more closely align display elements with XHTML.  Those changes include the following:
  • Minor tweaks to <table>
  • Minor tweaks to <list>
  • Remove <blockquote>, <table>, and <chronlist> from within <p>
  • Limit <blockquote> to a block element, add <quote> for inline use.
Fix <note> Craziness

There are 8 semantically distinct uses of <note> in EAD 2002.  In order to bring some clarity to the situation, the <note> element itself has been replaced by context-appropriate note elements including <didnote> (in the <did>), <footnote> (in mixed content contexts), <controlnote> (in <notestmt>), and <descriptivenote> (in various structured elements - more on those later).  We will also improve documentation of when to use the <odd> element as an alternative to <note>.

As always, questions and comments are greatly appreciated.


Mike Rush
TS-EAD co-chair