<container> Container

<container> is a child element found within <did> which encodes information about the container used to hold the materials. It may identify type and number. It’s generally used to specify a number or other designation associated with a box at the folder level, or possibly a folder number at the item-level.

This should not be confused with the <physloc> element, which designates the location of the containers. It is also not the same as <unitid>, which generally designates control numbers not associated with physical containers. However, both may be used to specify the call number…see the @label attribute below.


  • @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.”
  • @containerid – not required. A NMTOKEN which can be used to designate the container’s id number, such as a barcode.
  • @encodinganalog – not required. May contain information to map this tag to a particular element in another schema.
  • @id – not required. Creates an ID for element. Can be used for linking.
  • @label – not required. May be used to specify whether this is part of the call number or any other useful display data.
  • @lang – not required. Three-letter code that indicates the language in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 639-2b.
  • @localtype – not required. This attribute may be used within a number of elements. It should be used to designate type of container, but specifics of use and values are not defined by the schema and may be defined locally. Best practices determine standardized singular and plural words for container types.
  • @parent – not required. May be used to reference the @id of a box in which a folder is housed.
  • @script – not required. Four-letter code that indicates the script in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 15924.

Child Elements

<container> probably will contain text and may contain <abbr>, <emph>, <expan>, <foreign>, <lb />, <ptr/>, and <ref>.


  <unittitle>Department Minutes</unittitle>
  <container containerid="9095822543098" localtype="box">1</container>
  <container containerid="9095822543099" localtype="box">2</container>
  <container containerid="9095822543100" localtype="box">3</container>
  <container containerid="9095822543101" localtype="box">4</container>
  <container containerid="9095822543102" localtype="box">5</container>
  <container containerid="9095822543103" localtype="box">6</container>
  <physdescset parallel="false" coverage="whole">
    <physdescstructured coverage="part" physdescstructuredtype="carrier">
    <physdescstructured coverage="part" physdescstructuredtype="materialtype">
      <unittype>electronic files</unittype>
  <abstract>Regular department meetings are held in September-December and February-April of each school year. Some years include minutes of additional meetings. Minutes for the years 1983 and 1986 were not retained by anyone in the department.</abstract>

Changes from EAD 2002

<container> gained attributes @containerid, @lang, and @script. @type changed to @localtype. It lost child elements <archref>, <bibref>, <extptr>, <extref>, <linkgrp>, and <title>. It gained <foreign>.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

View the official tag library entry for <container>