[Archivesspace_Users_Group] [archivesspace] Request for community input: ANW-380

Angela Kroeger akroeger at unomaha.edu
Mon Jun 18 12:18:16 EDT 2018

I agree with what Alexander Duryee said about a single date expression field providing "a degree of flexibility with semantically meaningful dates." Adding to Alex's excellent examples, a date expression I've used is "Not earlier than 1972 and not later than 1985," which also would be difficult for an algorithm to separate into separate begin and end date expression fields.

As one of the institutions which likely "may not have sufficiently consistent data entry practices to allow a single migration script to parse existing Date Expression values into separate Begin and End date expression fields," we support the proposed idea of "[moving] the entire existing Date Expression value to the new Begin Date Expression, while moving the normalized dates to their appropriate standardized value fields." 

Will it be possible for each institution to choose whether they want their Date Expression values moved one-to-one into the Begin Date Expression field or algorithmically split into the new Begin and End Date Expression fields? So that institutions which think their dates are sufficiently consistent to be split into the new fields could choose the latter option, while institutions which may have more unusual date expressions could choose the former?

Will it be possible, post-migration, for an institution to choose to continue to use a single free-text field for the date expression? (Of course, normalized dates would still be separately recorded in the standardized fields, for machine searchability. The date expression is for human readability.) That is, would it be possible for an institution to choose to not utilize the new fields, or to choose to use the Begin Date Expression field like a single expression field post-migration? Better still, I like Mark Carlson's suggestion on ANW-380 (https://archivesspace.atlassian.net/browse/ANW-380), that the existing model be retained and available alongside the new model, rather than being replaced by the new model, and allowing the institution to choose whether date expression should be one field or split.

Date expression is useful as a free-text, human-readable field, and it already pairs nicely with the existing machine-readable normalized begin/end dates. I would like for institutions to continue to have the option of using a single field for date expression if they so choose.

Angela Kroeger
Archives and Special Collections Associate
UNO Libraries | Criss Library 107
University of Nebraska at Omaha | unomaha.edu

akroeger at unomaha.edu

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