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We are using the Perl program listed on the SAA's Tools and Helper Files
webpage, at https://www.archivists.org/saagroups/ead/tools.html .

The program is called tri-XMLdate-normalizer.pl (
http://monkey.org/%7Ecaz/TRI-scripts/tri-XMLdate-normalizer.pl ) and
works beautifully. Once you have it set up, which is quite easy once you
understand how the Perl processor works, you can normalize
(@normal="iso8601 value") dates in a finding aid within minutes.

Good luck.

Joseph Greene
Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Project (HII),
James Joyce Library,
UCD,
Belfield,
Dublin 4.

(t) 01 716 7506
(e) [log in to unmask]
(w) www.ucd.ie/ivrla 

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 11:46 pm
Subject: Re: Normalization of Dates - clarification
To: [log in to unmask]

> Michele Combs wrote:
> > As far as the way the visible date is written, I would think that 
> you> need not bother changing that at all unless you have more time 
> and money
> > than you know what to do with; we don't usually alter the way the 
> dates> appear in legacy finding aids when we do conversion, unless 
> for some
> > reason it affects the usefulness of the finding aid (e.g. if the 
> format> is so vague as to be uninterpretable or ambiguous enough to 
> lead to more
> > than one interpretation).
> 
> Hi
> 
> Just thought I'd say that normalising dates needn't be a completely 
> manual and painful process: programming can come to your (finding) 
> aid.
> With a comparatively simple script one could parse EAD files, 
> isolate 
> the non-normalised date elements, and generate new normalised 
> dates. 
> Perl's DateManip module, for example,  can reliably identify a wide 
> range of dates in vernacular forms, and output them in ISO8601 or 
> what 
> you will. You'd still need to verify the output, but if there's 
> nothing 
> too kinky, it might reliably do the lot.
> 
> http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~sbeck/DateManip.html#examples
> 
> Little scripts can speed things up a lot - try to find a friendly 
> hacker 
> to write you one! :)
> 
> Normalising dates may not be a pressing imperative, if your present 
> system merely displays them, but posterity is likely to be grateful 
> if 
> it starts wanting to sort or search collections, or do other 
> analysis, 
> based on date-like properties.
> 
> Hope this helps
> 
> Richard
> 
> 
> -- 
> / Richard M. Davis
> \ Digital Archives Specialist
> / University of London Computer Centre (ULCC)
> \ 20 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DZ
> / +44 (0) 20 7692 1350
> / [log in to unmask]
>