<controlaccess> Controlled Access Headings

<controlaccess> is a wrapper element used to designate key access points for described materials. It enables authority-controlled searching across finding aids. It may be used at multiple levels within a finding aid. Higher-level <controlaccess> elements should encode access points which are relevant to larger portions of the collection, whereas lower-level ones may specify access points which only apply to a file or item.

<controlaccess> is one of the elements which may be used within <archdesc>, <c>, <c01> … <c12>, and itself.


  • @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.”
  • @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.
  • @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. Its use and values are not defined by the schema and may be defined locally.
  • @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

<controlaccess> may contain further <controlaccess> elements which can be used to break up child elements by type. It may contain an optional <head> element. When not used only to contain other <controlaccess> elements, it must contain one or more of the following: <blockquote>, <chronlist>, <corpname>, <famname>, <function>, <genreform>, <geogname>,<list>, <name>, <occupation>, <p>, <persname>, <subject>, <table>, and <title>.

Although names and terms from locally-controlled vocabularies are permissible, the <controlaccess> access point child elements (<corpname>, <famname>, <function>, <genreform>, <geogname>, <occupation>, <persname>, <subject>, and <title>) should come from national or international vocabularies whenever they are available to enable searches in information systems that include multiple finding aids, or finding aids and bibliographic records from many institutions. <name> may be used when the type of name or full name is uncertain.

The child elements mentioned in the previous paragraph all have @source attributes, which should be used to specify the source of the heading (such as source=”lcsh”). Their @rules attribute may be used to specify the descriptive rules which were used to formulate the heading (such as rules=”AACR2″). @relator may be used to specify the heading’s role in the collection—creator, subject, etc.


  <persname identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no2019174587" encodinganalog="600" normal="Russel, Martha A. (Martha Anita), 1941-2010" source="lcnaf"><part localtype="familyname">Russel</part><part localtype="forename">Martha</part><part localtype="date">1941-2010</part></persname>
  <corpname identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no2019174523526" encodinganalog="610"><part>Quilting Technologies Department</part><part>Piecemaking University</part></corpname>
  <subject encodinganalog="650" source="lcsh"><part identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85109859">Quilting</part><part identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh99005024">History</part></subject>
  <subject identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85133169" encodinganalog="650" source="lcsh"><part>Technology</part><part>Social aspects</part></subject>
  <subject identifier="http://id.quiltlink.org/subjects/T29485" encodinganalog="650" source="quiltlink"><part>Technologies of quilting</part></subject>
  <subject identifier="http://id.quiltlink.org/subjects/T2532" encodinganalog="650" source="quiltlink"><part>Quilt study</part></subject>
  <genreform identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/genreForms/gf2014026128" encodinganalog="655" source="lcgft"><part>Minutes (Records)</part></genreform>
  <genreform identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/genreForms/gf2014026046" encodinganalog="655" source="lcgft"><part>Annual reports</part></genreform>
  <genreform identifier="http://id.loc.gov/authorities/genreForms/gf2014026067" encodinganalog="655" source="lcgft"><part>Conference materials</part></genreform>
  <genreform identifier="http://id.quiltlink.org/genres/F23569" encodinganalog="655" source="quiltlink"><part>Grant materials</part></genreform>
  <occupation identifier="http://vocab.getty.edu/page/aat/300025359" encodinganalog="656" source="aat"><part>quiltmakers</part></occupation>

Changes from EAD 2002

<controlaccess> gained attributes @lang, @localtype, and @script. It lost the deprecated <note> element and the heavily-restricted <address>.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

View the official tag library entry for <controlaccess>