How to Read an Element Page

Each element page on this site is structured as follows:

Top right sidebar

If the element occurred in EAD 2002, this will contain a link to the appropriate page on, the EAD 2002 version of the site. That site will also link back to this element page. I hope this will allow for fuller comparison of the elements, although each element page contains a section, if relevant, on those changes (see below). If the element is new in EAD3, it will simply note that.

The element page itself:

Descriptive Introduction

The first section will give you a basic introduction to the tag and its use. It will provide information about the places where this element may be used and list its parent elements. Each parent element will be linked to its own element page.


This section lists all attributes available for the element and describes their function, along with whether or not they’re required and/or have fixed values. Required elements will be specially marked and show up as red.

Child Elements

This section lists and links to each of the child elements which may (or must) be included within the element. It will include notes regarding required order.

If there is a full list of elements in required order, required* elements are starred and in red. A group in which at least one of the group must be used** are double-starred and in blue.

Adjacent Elements

If the element is part of a required sequence of elements, mostly within <control>, this will contain about what came before and what may come next. Generally what may come next goes to either the end of the parent element’s list of child elements or the next required element, whichever comes first.


If there is a crosswalk reference in the DACS/EAD crosswalk table (see the DACS second edition webpage) this section page will include the relevant DACS section number(s) and information about whether the information is Required, Optimal, or Added Value. It will include a link to the HTML version of DACS for further reading.

Note: “Required” (etc.) in this section refers to the description’s being DACS-compliant, not EAD-compliant. Also, the information must be included at least once. If multiple elements reference the same required information, such as DACS 2.5, Extent, only one is necessary to meet DACS requirements.


This section provides one or more examples of how the tag may be used in a finding aid. In most cases, they’re taken from the sample EAD3 finding aid I created. This fictitious finding aid concerns the Hogwarts Archives’ collection of Salazar Slytherin’s manuscripts. Those who attended or worked at the University of Maryland may recognize this nod to Jennie Levine Knies’s influence on internal training documents.

Changes from EAD 2002

If the element was used in EAD 2002, this section will have notes on attributes and child elements which have been added or removed. It may also include notes about changes in parent elements.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

A link to the official EAD3 tag library entry for the element.