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<daodesc> Digital Archival Object Description

<daodesc> encodes information about the contents, usage, or source of <dao> or <daogrp>. The <unittitle> or other descriptive information within <c> may be sufficient in place of <daodesc>. Elements which <daodesc> may occur within are: <dao>, <daogrp>, <daoloc>.


  • 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.


<daodesc> may contain: <address>, <blockquote>, <chronlist>, <head>, <list>, <note>, <p>, and <table>.


As with <dao>, an excellent example of <daodesc> in use comes from the LoC website. In this case, the <daodesc> is describing an element within a <daogrp>:

<c level="file">
        <unittitle>Photographs of John Smith and family members</unittitle>
        <unitdate type="inclusive" normal="1895/1928">1895-1928</unitdate>
        <daogrp linktype="extended">
                <p>Sample digitized image from this file: John Smith graduation portrait,
                <date normal="18950528">28 May 1895</date>.</p>
            <resource linktype="resource" label="start"/>
            <daoloc entityref="f0042_1tmb" linktype="locator" label="thumb"/>
            <daoloc entityref="f0042_1ref" linktype="locator" label="reference"/>
            <arc linktype="arc" show="embed" actuate="onload" from="start" to="thumb"/>
            <arc linktype="arc" show="new" actuate="onrequest" from="thumb" to="reference"/>

EAD tag library entry for <daodesc>.