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This is something I have been meaning to attack as I am in exactly the same position as Deena (i.e. wanting to normalize my dates but having no immediate need to do so.)

Following Joseph's post, I have installed ActivePerl 5.8.3.809 (on a Windows2000 machine.) I have also downloaded XML::Twig and HTML::Entities modules and the script tri-XMLdate-normalizer.pl from the SAA website.

But I have no knowledge of Perl or any clue what to do next. Is there any online guide to such things that will instruct me what to do? Failing that, can anyone here enlighten me? For instance, in what directory do I place the modules (or what do I do with them) to make sure they are connected? And then how to I make the whole thing work?

I'm sure it's pretty simple, but a little guidance will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan Lill
Project Archivist
The Museum of Modern Art
Museum Archives
45-17 32nd Place
Long Island City, NY 11101
212.333.6514
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-----Original Message-----
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
joseph greene
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 4:22 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Normalization of Dates - clarification


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]
>