The EAD Working Group of the Society of American Archivists's Committee on
Archival Information Exchange is opening a period of formal comment on the
EAD DTD.  As most of you know, EAD has been in beta test mode since last
September, and it was announced when released that beta would last
approximately a year.  One of the responsibilities of the Working Group is
to evaluate the beta version and recommend changes to the structure of EAD.
If your repository has been testing the beta version of EAD, we would like
your feedback.  If you have suggestions for new elements, making elements
available where they currently are not, additional or changes to
attributes, etc., this is your opportunity to make your opinions known.
Much discussion of EAD has taken place on this list, and suggestions have
already been made.  However, we ask that you submit these suggestions again
as part of this formal comment period, which will last until August 22,
1997.  Hopefully the Working Group will meet this fall to discuss and
approve changes, which would be implemented as quickly as possible as EAD
Version 1.0.

Please observe the following conventions when sending your comments to
enable the Working Group to more easily sort and identify suggestions:

1.  It will be very helpful if the topic of the comment or suggestion is
stated concisely in the subject line of the message.  For example, if you
have comments about the DTD in general, please put "General Comment:" at
the beginning of the subject line of your message.

2.  If you have compiled a list of element- or attribute-specific comments,
please put them in separate messages, and put the element or attribute name
preceded by "Element:" or "Attribute:" in the subject line of your message.
If you are suggesting a new element or attribute, give it a provisional
name and describe briefly its nature and purpose.

3.  Suggested modifications, whether additions, removal, or changes in
existing models should be accompanied by the following:
        a) rationale for the modification;
        b) example of the intellectual content and structure with enough
context for the Working Group to determine its nature and purpose; using
simple ascii, attempt to maintain the formatting of the original content,
as this will greatly facilitate its interpretation by the Working Group;
        c) example of the content with proposed encoding.

Those who submit suggested changes should not assume that the terminology
with which they are familiar is equally familiar to the members of the
Working Group.  Many terms are country-, region-, or repository-specific in
definition and scope.  Be as explicit as possible, describing the "thing
itself," as well as its nature and purpose within the context of an
archival description.

Generally the amount of documentation should be in proportion to the
significance of the suggested modification.  Those who submit suggestions
should be prepared to provide additional clarifications and examples upon
request from the Working Group.

4.  Please do not send comments about authoring or publishing software, or
implementation issues except as they are affected by the markup.  These
issues are mostly separate from the structure of EAD itself.

It is assumed that anyone who is interested in the development of EAD is
subscribed to this list.  If you know of someone that is currently testing
EAD who is not subscribed, please feel free to forward this message.

Kris Kiesling
Head, Department of Manuscripts and Archives
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
P.O. Drawer 7219
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX  78713-7219
Voice:  (512) 471-9113
Fax:  512.471.9646
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