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<phystech> Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

<phystech> is used to encode either physical or technical details which affect the materials. Physical characteristics may affect storage, preservation or use of materials. Technical details may include information about the hardware or software necessary to preserve or access the materials. This element is comparable to ISAD(G) data element 3.4.4 and MARC fields 340 and 538.

<phystech> 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. This may provide more information about the type of characteristic or requirement.


<phystech> may contain additional <phystech> elements as well as: <address>, <blockquote>, <chronlist>, <head>, <list>, <note>, <p>, and <table>.


See DACS Section 4.2, Physical access and Section 4.3, Technical access. Added value. (DACS 2013, pp.53-56)


The two examples below include TYPE attributes which supposes that the repository has decided to further specify the type of field by using either “phys” or “tech.”

<c level="series">
	<phystech type="tech">
		<head>Technological Requirements</head>
		<p>A cassette tape player is required to hear the oral history interviews.</p>
<c level="folder">
	<phystech type="phys">
		<head>Physical Characteristics</head>
		<p>Photographs are separated by acid-free postcard dividers to prevent ink transfer.</p>

EAD tag library entry for <phystech>.