Linking Elements

In EAD, linking elements perform three functions:

  1. They enable hypertext capabilities within the document. For example, a name may be linked to each place materials concerning that person occur in the finding aid, functioning far faster than scrolling.
  2. Linking elements allow encoders to add images, sound files, and other multimedia objects to an encoded finding aid. This can be as simple as a repository logo or as complex as individual scans of the described materials.
  3. These elements allow finding aid creators to link to external electronic documents and materials. This might be a finding aid for separated materials from the collection or an external full-text scan of the described materials.

EAD 2002 used XML Linking Language (XLink) v.1.0. EAD3 has greatly-reduced linking elements and incorporates relevant attributes entirely into the schema. An understanding of XLink syntax may be helpful for understanding EAD3 linking, but linking to the schema is no longer necesssary.

List of EAD3 linking elements

  • <citation> – Citation: may link to a content standard, controlled vocabulary, thesaurus, etc., being cited within a convention declaration.
  • <dao> – Digital Archival Object: may embed or link to a digital archival object within <archdesc> or a <c>-type element.
  • <ptr/> – Pointer: may provide empty link (no content).
  • <ref> – Reference: may link and contain text or elements describing the object to which it links.
  • <relation> – Relation: may link to a related object. Additional detail about the object will be provided within <relation>’s child elements.
  • <representation> – Representation: may link to a deliverable version of the EAD finding aid (HTML/PDF/Word document). Should not be used for linking to the EAD finding aid itself.
  • <source> – Source: may link to a source which was used in creating the intellectual content of the finding aid.

List of EAD3 linking attributes

  • @actuate – Determines whether a link occurs automatically or must be requested by a user. Possible values: onload, onrequest, other, none.
  • @arcrole – Specifies the role that a remote resource plays related to the source of the link (e.g.
  • @entityref – The name of a nonparsed entity declared in the declaration subset of the document that points to a machine-readable version of the cited reference.
  • @href – May be used to designate a URI/URL for the material cited.
  • @linkrole – Characterizes the nature of the remote resource (e.g.
  • @linktitle – Designates a title for the link.
  • @show – Specifies when a link will be shown. Possible values are: new, replace, embed, other, none.
  • @target – Designates an @id reference to the referenced object.
  • @xpointer – not required. The locator for a remote resource in a simple or locator link. The @xpointer attribute takes the form of a URI plus a reference, formulated in @xpointer syntax, to a sub-resource of the remote resource. @xpointer enables linking to specific sections of a document that are relative, i.e., based on their position in the document or their content, rather than by reference to a specific identifier such as an @id.