<physloc> Physical Location

<physloc> is a child element of <did> used to encode information which identifies the storage location of the described materials. This may include building, room, stack, shelf, or other tangible area, as well as any internal descriptive systems. This should not be confused with <container>, which is used to identify the storage devices holding the materials (boxes, cartons, folders, reels, etc.) or with <repository>, which identifies the institution or agency responsible for providing intellectual access to the 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.
  • @label – not required. This can be used when a meaningful display label for an element can’t be derived by the stylesheet from its name. It is available in all <did> subelements.
  • @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.
  • @parent – not required. In <physloc> this may designate a larger location which is the parent of the location of the element’s location. Parent might be SL1 and material in <physloc> might be “Row 12”.
  • @script – not required. Four-letter code that indicates the script in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 15924.

Note: The tag library notes that it may be desirable to set the @audience attribute to “internal” to shield public access to the materials. The element may also be repeated with differing values for @audience, so the public sees something general and the staff sees the specific location.

Child Elements

<physloc> may contain text, as well as <abbr>, <emph>, <expan>, <foreign>, <lb />, <ptr/>, and <ref>.


See DACS Section 4.2, Physical access. Added value. (DACS 2013, pp.53-54)


<archdesc level="collection">
    <unittitle>Quilting Technologies Department Records</unittitle>
    <physloc audience="external">Stored offsite.</physloc>
    <physloc audience="internal" localtype="buillding">ANNEX</physloc>
    <physloc audience="internal" localtype="shelfloc">13:1</physloc>
      <corpname source="lcnaf"><part>University Archives</part><part>Piecemaking University</part></corpname>

Changes from EAD 2002

<physloc> gained @lang and @script attributes and the <foreign> child element. It lost child elements <archref>, <bibref> and deprecated child elements <extref> and <extptr>.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

View the official tag library entry for <physloc>