Because you'll probably hear this from others, according to DACS, we are no longer supposed to leave anything with open date ranges, but to instead give it a closing date and update it as necessary. I know, I know, I still have some finding aids out there with an open date range (BFC & Trustees) but I just haven't found it necessary to go back and clean those up yet.

(DACS rule 2.4.8: When further accruals are expected, record the inclusive dates pertaining to the holdings currently in the custody of the repository. Record information about expected accruals in the Accruals Element (5.4). When the accruals are received, revise the date as necessary.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Riley, Jenn
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 7:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: open ended-date range

Hello all,

In working with finding aids encoded according to the EAD 2002 W3C Schema instead of the DTD, we've run into an issue with the unitdate/@normal attribute. The data type for the unitdate/@normal attribute doesn't seem to support open-ended date ranges (because it's based on ISO8601, which doesn't support them either, is that right?). So what's the best encoding to use for a date range that, say, starts in 1970 and continues to the present day? These aren't valid:

<unitdate normal="1970/">1970-</unitdate>
<unitdate normal="1970/9999">1970-</unitdate> (that's a hack, but I've seen it in use before)

I can think of these other options:

<unitdate normal="1970">1970-</unitdate> (treat it as a single date in the normal attribute)
<unitdate>1970-</unitdate> (leave the normal attribute off entirely)

I don't like either of those options, though. What would you do?


Jenn Riley
Metadata Librarian
Digital Library Program
Indiana University - Bloomington
Wells Library W501
(812) 856-5759

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