I strongly recommend putting estimates of dates and, in circumstances where
the dating might be questioned, indicating the evidence or thought process
by which the archivist settled upon the date. You can at least let the
poor researchers know a century, surely?
I've found these examples of notes:
"Date based on John Doe's birth date."
"Date determined from internal evidence. "
"Date determined from stamp on cover."
"Date determined from school buildings: Morey Junior High School (shown)
built ca. 1921; "new South High School site" shown; corner stone for South
High School laid 1924."
"Cataloger has determined date and location from information on <snipped>
and provenance information which indicates <snipped>. The cataloger
reasoned that <snipped> because the trees are in full leaf."
At 04:43 PM 10/19/2010 -0400, Nathan Tallman wrote:
>Greetings list members,
>My institution has a few collections that are entirely undated. I haven't
>run across this before and am a little unsure as to how to handle
>normalization for undated materials at the collection level. How does
>your institution handle cases like this? Perhaps just not
>normalizing? Or using the oldest collection in our holdings as a start
>date and the donation date as the end date?
Collection Services Archivist
Harvard University Archives
Cambridge, MA 02138
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fax: (617) 495-8011
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