On Wed, 13 Oct 1999, Chris Prom wrote:

> My problem is this:  when working down the hierarchy of levels, how does
> one best deal with boxes?  From an strictly organizational point of view,
> the boxes signify nothing about the relationship of the folder or
> itme to other parts of the record series, and thus are not, strictly
> speaking, components of the more meaningful hierarchy usually represented
> on paper finding aids by indentations.  Boxes are simply a storage
> medium.

Chris hits on one of the most vexing problems one confronts with EAD:
competing intellectual and physical hierarchies within multi-level
archival descriptions in finding aids. EAD gives primacy to the
intellectual in the <c01>-<c12> component tags. Physical containment is
dealt with using the <container> tag within the descriptive identification
information <did> at each intellectual component level <c01>-<c12>.  One
note from Chris' paragraph above:  item is a unit of intellectual
description (in EAD, a possible value for the LEVEL attribute in the
<c01>-<c12> component tags), while folder is a unit of physical
containment (a value for the TYPE attribute in the <container> tag).

This is all dealt with in greater detail in the "EAD Application
Guidelines, Version 1.0" just published by SAA in August. Specifically,
you'll want to look at Section 3.5.2. "Describing the "Parts": Nested
Components" on p. 73-98. The intellectual vs. physical hierarchy question
is dealt with quite neatly therein.


Bill [log in to unmask]
Manuscripts Librarian                |                   The UCI Libraries
Department of Special Collections    |            University of California
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