EAD Tag Library for Version 1.0

EAD Elements: <did> Descriptive Identification


A required* wrapper element that bundles other elements identifying core information about the described materials in either <archdesc> or a Component <c>. The various <did> subelements are intended for brief, clearly designated statements of information and, except for <note>, do not include Paragraphs <p>.

As more fully explained in the Overview of the EAD Structure, the <did> groups elements that constitute a good basic description of an archival unit or component. This grouping ensures that the same data elements and structure are available at every level of description within the EAD hierarchy. It facilitates the retrieval or other output of a cohesive body of elements for resource discovery and recognition. Because the elements can easily appear together in EAD DTD software templates, the <did> reminds encoders to capture descriptive information they may otherwise overlook.

The <did> in <archdesc> is sometimes called the high level <did>, because it describes the collection as a whole. Consider using the following elements for this high level <did>: <head>, <origination>, <unittitle>, <physdesc>, <repository>, and <abstract>. The <unitid> and <physloc> elements are suggested if applicable to a repository's practice. A <did> within a Component <c> can be less complete, and might have only a <container> or <unitid> and a <unittitle>.

* The formatting elements <drow> and <dentry> can be used instead of <did> within a Component <c>, to enable more elaborate tabular displays of hierarchical container lists and series descriptions.

May contain:

abstract, container, dao, daogrp, head, note, origination, physdesc, physloc, repository, unitdate, unitid, unittitle

May occur within:

archdesc, archdescgrp, c, c01, c02, c03, c04, c05, c06, c07, c08, c09, c10, c11, c12


AUDIENCE#IMPLIED, external, internal


  1. <archdesc type="inventory" level="subgrp">
    <head>Overview of the Records</head>
    <repository label="Repository:">
    <corpname>Minnesota Historical Society</corpname></repository>
    <origination label="Creator:">Minnesota. Game and Fish Department
    <unittitle label="Title:">Game laws violation records,
    <unitdate label="Dates:">1908-1928</unitdate></unittitle>
    <abstract label="Abstract:">Records of prosecutions for and seizures of property
    resulting from violation of the state's hunting and fishing laws.</abstract>
    <physdesc label="Quantity:">2.25 cu. ft. (7 v. and 1 folder in 3 boxes)</physdesc>
    <physloc label="Location:">See Detailed Description section for box location</physloc>
    [other possible elements and text... ]

  2. <dsc type="analyticover">
    <c01 level="series">
    <unittitle>Forest Stand Maps by Township and Basemap </unittitle>
    <unitdate type="inclusive">1958-1979</unitdate>
    <physdesc><extent>36 ft. </extent>
    <extent>(approx. 1700 sheets) </extent>
    of <genreform>cartographic records.</genreform>
    <physfacet>Scale: predominantly 4 inches to 1 mile (1:15,840)</physfacet>
    [other possible elements and text... ]
    [other possible elements and text... ]

  3. <archdesc langmaterial="lat" level="collection">
    <unittitle>Early Durham Cartularies</unittitle>
    <unitdate label="Date range:" normal="1220xxxx-1230xxxx">compiled
    between 1220 and 1230, with later additions</unitdate>
    <physdesc label="Extent:">1 cartulary (175ff. and inserts), 1 fragment
    and 1 [photostat of] fragment.</physdesc>
    <repository label="Repository:">Durham University Library, Archives and
    Special Collections</repository>
    <origination label="Origination:">early cartularies produced by the
    Durham monastic administration.</origination></did>
    [other possible elements and text... ]

  4. <dsc type="combined">
    <c01 level="series">
    <did><unittitle>Series 1: Correspondence,
    <unitdate type="inclusive">1943-1978</unitdate></unittitle>
    <physdesc><extent>2.5 linear ft. </extent>(5 document boxes)</physdesc>
    <c02 level="subseries">
    <did><unittitle>Subseries 1.1: Outgoing Correspondence,
    <unitdate type="inclusive">1943-1969</unitdate></unittitle>
    <physdesc><extent>0.75 linear ft.</extent></physdesc>
    <did><physloc audience="internal">B:14:D</physloc>
    <container type="box">1</container>
    <container type="folder">1</container>
    <physdesc><extent>14 letters</extent></physdesc>

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction EAD Design
Overview of
EAD Structure
Tag Library
EAD Attributes EAD Elements
by Tag Name
Index of
EAD Element Names

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