<dimensions> Dimensions

<dimensions> is a child element of <physdescstructured> which encodes information about the size of the materials being described, usually using empirical data of any convenient unit. This is not the same as <extent>, which describes the quantity of described materials.


  • @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 is used within <dimensions> to specify the kind of dimensions being measured–height, circumference, etc. It may also be used for any locally-decided values
  • @script – not required. Four-letter code that indicates the script in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 15924.
  • @unit – not required. Any unit of measurement, used to clarify which unit is being used for measuring the materials. The data type is “token.”

Child Elements

<dimensions> will likely contain text and may contain further <dimensions> elements as well as <abbr>, <emph>, <expan>, <foreign>, <lb />, <ptr/>, and <ref>.


See DACS Section 2.5, Extent. (DACS 2013, pp.28-30)


<c level="item">
    <unittitle>Map of American Quilt Guilds</unittitle>
    <abstract>The map combines data from state directories and the <expan abbr="MQG">Modern Quilt Guild</expan>.</abstract>
    <materialspec localtype="scale">1:4,000,000</materialspec>
    <physdescstructured coverage="whole" physdescstructuredtype="materialtype">
      <dimensions localtype="width" unit="cm">88</dimensions>
      <dimensions localtype="height" unit="cm">90</dimensions>
  <physdescstructured coverage="part" physdescstructuredtype="carrier">
    <quantity approximate="false">2</quantity>
    <unittype>hard drives</unittype>
    <physfacet>labeled with printed sticker</physfacet>
    <dimensions localtype="width" unit="inches">3.5</dimensions>
    <p>Labels on hard drives were applied by department before transfer to University Archives. If hard drives are used incorrectly, labels may melt and damage equipment. Use Archives-provided chassis to safely read hard drives.</p>

Changes from EAD 2002

<dimensions> gained @lang and @script elements. @type changed to @localtype. It is no longer used within <physdesc> but within <physdescstructured>. It gained child element <foreign> and lost child elements <archref>, <bibref>, <extptr>, <extref>, <linkgrp>, and <title>.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

View the official tag library entry for <dimensions>