<physfacet> Physical Facet

<physfacet> is a child element of <physdescstructured> which may be used to encode information about the physical nature and particularly appearance of the materials. It is especially used to make note of aspects of the appearance that affect or limit the use of the materials, such as color, style, marks, substances, materials, or techniques and methods of creation. Other aspects may be described in other child elements of <physdescstructured>.


  • @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.
  • @identifier – not required. A machine-readable unique identifier related to the content of the element. On access terms and other elements whose content is drawn from an authority file, the unique identifier for the term being used. If this attribute is used, @source should also be used to identify the authority file.
  • @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.
  • @rules – not required. The name of descriptive rules used to formulate the content.
  • @script – not required. Four-letter code that indicates the script in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 15924.
  • @source – not required. The source of any controlled vocabulary terms contained in the element.

Child Elements

<physfacet> may contain text, <abbr>, <corpname>, <date>, <emph>, <expan>, <famname>, <footnote>, <foreign>, <function>, <genreform>, <geogname>, <lb />, <name>, <num>, <occupation>, <persname>, <quote>, <ptr/>, <ref>, <subject>, and <title>.


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


  <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

<physfacet> gained @lang and @script attributes and the <foreign> child element. @type changed to @localtype. It lost attribute @unit; child elements <archref>, <bibref>; and deprecated child elements <extref> and <extptr>.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

View the official tag library entry for <physfacet>