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Hello:

A colleague has passed me an announcement regarding a 3 year project called Electronic Access to
Medieval Manuscripts, which is sponsored by thr Hill Monastic MS Library.

Will EAD have any input on this, as it seems there could be scope for a lot of wheel re-inventing?

Given that medieval/renaissance manuscripts are not necessarily kept in separate collections, if you
do not describe one using EAD, then you will end up with gaps in the handlist (which could be filled
by hyperlinks).  Having tried to include a full-blown medieval MS description in an EAD list, I found
few basic problems, as you can always fall back on untagged prose.  Most of the obvious tags that
would be required (collation, binding, script etc) are of a descriptive nature and would only need to
be available in <physdesc>.  As 99% of lists would not require these, perhaps there is scope for
optional chunks of DTD that can be included if required, as TEI allows.

Is someone from EAD involved in this project?  It would be interesting to hear of any developments,
although as it is a 3 year project, it won't be completed in time to affect my own practice here.

Richard Higgins
Durham University Library