I am finding the response to my initial query illuminating.
What I seem to be perceiving are at least two different
intellectual approaches of interpreting the intellectual
and physical "stuff" that we are all dealing with.  On the
one hand are archivists, myself included, who see the
physical components of a collection as subordinate units of
the intellectual hierarchy, implied or explicit, in a
collection.  On the other hand are archivists who see the
intellectual information as one sort of hierarchy and the
physical arrangement as a different hierarchy altogether.

When I tag a document in the approach that I use, the
intellectual hierarchy is paramount, but I use the
appropriate <C01> ... <C09> tag to indicate which physical
components are subordinate to that intellectual hierarchy.

Michael Fox has made the argument that the approach I use
"violates" the ARUP of the American Heritage project and of
EAD itself.  What has been reported to me since I raised
this question is that two of the other three institutions
in the American Heritage project are encoding their guides
in the manner Stanford is.  Only one is not.

Does this mean that Stanford and the other two
organizations are "right" and the fourth institution is
"wrong"?  Clearly not.  However, I do think it suggests
that there are real needs in many (most?) archives for
showing that physical hierarchies are often part of an
intellectual hierarchy and need to be represented as such
explicitly.  I would be ecstatic if physical component tags
embedable within the intellectual hierarchy were defined or
if the problem of concurrency could be resolved, but
barring these solutions, I suspect that Stanford and other
institutions will continue to use the existing <C01> ...
<C09> tags for physical levels of hierarchy.

Steven Mandeville-Gamble
Special Collections Librarian for Manuscripts Processing
Dept. of Special Collections
Stanford University Libraries
Phone: (415) 725-3478    Fax: (415) 723-8690
Email: [log in to unmask]