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<altformavail> Alternative Form Available

<altformavail> encodes information about copies of the materials being described. It should include the type of alternative form, significant control numbers, location, and source for ordering copies if available. If the described materials are copies, <originalsloc> should be used to encode information about the existence, location, and availability of the originals. Copied materials may also have <altformavail>, if alternative forms such as photocopies, and digital or microfilm reproductions are available.

<altformavail> is one of the elements which may be used within <archdesc>, <archdescgrp>, <c>, <c01> through <c12>, and <descgrp>.


  • 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.
  • ENCODINGANALOG – not required. May contain information to map this tag to a particular element in another schema.
  • TYPE – not required. May be used to designate the type of acquisition info.


<altformavail> may contain further <altformavail> elements, as well as <address>, <blockquote>, <chronlist>, <head>, <list>, <note>, <p>, and <table>. Note, since PCDATA is not used within this element, it serves as a wrapper, at least of a <p> element containing the actual text.


See DACS Section 6.2, Existence/location of copies. Added value. (DACS 2013, pp.71-72)


Some examples of how <altformavail> may be used:

	<head>Alternate Form Available</head>
	<p>This collection is available as a PDF (<num type="reproduction">sjb</num>) for purchase by individual researchers. Please contact the repository for more details.</p>
	<p>Contact the repository to request photocopies of this material.</p>

EAD tag library entry for <altformavail>.