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I agree with Stephen.  The second encoding would be technically correct. 
    Of course, EAD attributes are only as useful as the mechanism that 
can interpret and utilize them.  But the @normal value based on ISO8601 
is universal so it is the most important value for creating a universal 
understanding of your data beyond your own institution.  Ideally, you 
may want to have your display stylesheet insert the ISO normalized date 
in parentheses after the original date so that it will be more 
universally understandable: 21 Floréal an VII (1799 May 10)

Mark Carlson
Computer Support Analyst
Special Collections Division
University of Washington Libraries
BOX 352900
Seattle, WA, 98195
(206) 543-1929
http://staff.washington.edu/carlsonm/


Hanno de Vries wrote:
> Dear EAD experts,
>  
> 
> Just a practical question (with a philosophical dimension): 
> 
> What do the attributes "era" and "calendar" refer to? To the normalized date? Or to the date tagged with <unitdate>?
>  
> The following example may illustrate my point:
>  
> 143C    	Compte du recouvrement fait pour le compte
>             du comité des Colonies Occidentales de
>             la République Batave de £ 162,313,4 sur le 
>             commissaires de la Trésorie Nationale de France, 
>             traites de l'ile de Curaçao du 22 Vendémiaire 
>             an V à 20 cours de vue, lesquelles ont été 
>             remboursées en rescriptions Bataves échues 
>             en 1798.
>             21 Floréal an VII
>  
> (translation: Reimbursement, on behalf of the Committee of the West Indian Colonies of the Batavian Republic, of £ 162,313,4 on the commissioners of the  National Treasury of France, bills of exchange from the island of Curaçao on 22 Vendémiaire Year V, against a current rate of 20, which were refunded by Batavian rescriptions expired in 1798.)
> 
> The unitdate is, of course, 21 Floréal an VII (May 10, 1799).
> 
> 
> 
> Should the <unitdate> in this case be encoded as follows:
> <unitdate normal="17990510" era="ce" calendar="greg">21 Floréal an VII</unitdate> 
>  
> Or:
> <unitdate normal="17990510" era="French_Republican" calendar="French_Republican">21 Floréal an VII</unitdate>
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Kind regards,
> Hanno de Vries
> senior archivist
> National Archives
> The Hague / the Netherlands
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