XML at UNC: Single and Normal Dates

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Single Dates

We have attributes for inclusive dates (e.g., <unitdate type="inclusive">) and bulk dates (e.g., <date type="bulk">). With EAD 2002, the single date attribute went away. If you need to tag a single date, use the appropriate tag without a type attribute (e.g., <date>, <unitdate>). If you've got a collection-level single date, see Modifying Template-Generated Date Information.

Normal Dates

We normalize dates at the collection and series levels.

The pattern for normalized dates is: yyyymmdd. In most cases, you'll find that pattern replicated where it should be used (<eadheader> and <unitdate> elements at the collection and <c01> levels only in the <archdesc>). Fill in only the relevant parts.

Here are some examples:

Single Human Date Single Normal Date
15 December 1946 19461215 (no slash)
July 2003 200307 (no slash)
2003 2003(no slash)
Range Human Dates Range Normal Dates
15 December 1946-4 July 2003 19461215/20030704
December 1946-July 2003 194612/200307
circa 1742-1946 1742/1946
1940s-1966 1940/1966
1861-1867, 1901, 1908 1861/1908

Note the last three examples. Normalized dates can't accommodate "circa" or "s" or other modifiers. There also can't be more than a beginning date or a beginning and ending date. See Modifying Template-Generated Date Information for how to handle dates that are abnormal for normalization.

In most cases, use only the year(s) at the collection level (e.g., Mena Washington Diary, 1863-1864) and more specific dates in at the <c01> level (e.g., Mena Washington Diary, 1 December 1863-3 May 1864) and normalize accordingly (e.g., 1863/1864 and 18631201/18640503).

Undated, of course, is normal, but requires no normalization. Fun, huh? Aren't we glad that only top-level dates are normalized?

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