<frontmatter> Frontmatter

<frontmatter> is a wrapper element focused on information about the creation, publication, or use of the finding aid. Like <eadheader>, it’s not about the material but about the finding aid. It could be used for a title page, dedication, instructions for use, etc. Isn’t that material in <eadheader>? Yes. In essence, all the same information can be put in the EAD header, using its subelements, including the note element. The Library of Congress best practices discourage its use, but for the sake of completeness, it’s being covered here and its sub-elements will be covered later.

<frontmatter> is not a required element. If you choose to use it, it should be placed between the <eadheader> and <archdesc> elements.


  • ALTRENDER – not required. Use if the content of the element should be displayed or printed differently than the rendering established in a style sheet for other occurrences of the element.
  • AUDIENCE – not required. Use to set whether the element’s contents will be visible to external users or to internal ones. Possible values are: “internal” and “external.”
  • ID – not required. Creates an ID for element. Can be used for linking.


<frontmatter> has two possible sub-elements, <div> and <titlepage>. Although <div> is commonly used in (X)HTML, in EAD it is only used inside <frontmatter>. It is used to designate a major section of text. <titlepage> is a wrapper element which can be used to organize title page information within <frontmatter>.

Our EAD file so far

Still wrappers:

		<eadid countrycode="us" mainagencycode="dgwl" url="http://www.eadiva.com/sample/">rkt-01</eadid>
				<titleproper>Inventory of Something Useful for Learning EAD <date>2012-2013</date></titleproper>
				<subtitle>A totally awesome finding aid with a subtitle too</subtitle>
				<author>Ruth K. Tillman, the EADiva</author>
				<sponsor>Encoding thanks to EADiva's donation of her spare time.</sponsor>
			<editionstmt><edition>1st ed.</edition>
			<p>Didn't need to specify since it's first edition, but wanted to use the fields.</p>
					<addressline>1600 Pennsylvania Ave</addressline>
					<addressline>Washington, DC, 20001</addressline>
					<addressline>Phone: 202-555-1234</addressline>
			<seriesstmt><p>Bell Family Papers</p>
					<p>The materials in this finding aid are based on an actual collection of Sarah J. Bell Kitchin's letters.</p>
					<p>This finding aid was created as a project for the EADiva.com website.</p>
			<creation>This finding aid was encoded by Ruth K. Tillman, on <date normal="20121118">November 18th, 2012</date>, using Notepad++. Material was generated off the top of her head.</creation>
			<langusage>This finding aid is written in <language langcode="eng">English</language>.
			<descrules>This finding aid was prepared using Ruth's understanding of EAD and her use of the LOC EAD 2002 official website.</descrules>
				<date normal="20121204">December 4, 2012</date>
				<item>This finding aid was edited by Ruth Tillman in order to clarify contents in eadheader.</item>

EAD tag library entry for <frontmatter>.