The physical description of a text-bearing object (i.e., support) is encoded in the <supportDesc> element. Although the TEI supplies a range of elements within <supportDesc> most EpiDoc projects to date have only found it necessary to make use of one of these: <support>. Within the <support> element, there are two different ways in which the relevant information may be structured.
In the first approach, one produces one or more paragraphs of descriptive prose (wrapped in <p> elements as appropriate). Within this prose, certain classes of information are specially tagged, including the material out of which it is made, the type of object it is, and its dimensions (using the <material>, <objectType>, and <dimensions> elements). Reference to bibliography, as appropriate, may also be made in the standard way (i.e., <bibl>).
In the second approach -- useful especially when data is being imported from or prepared for export to a database or other schema -- the specialized <material>, <objectType>, and <dimensions> elements are produced sequentially within <support> without any surrounding or connecting text. These may then be followed by one or more paragraphs of descriptive prose as desired.
See also Dimensions for more information on tagging object, campus or letter dimensions.