[Archivesspace_Users_Group] normalized begin/end date display in PUI

Benn Joseph benn.joseph at northwestern.edu
Tue Apr 13 17:38:13 EDT 2021

Hi everyone,
For processing projects at our institution, we've pretty much reached the point of normalizing the use of the Harvard spreadsheet ingest module in ASpace, which is great! One result of doing this is that we now favor ingesting normalized begin/end dates almost exclusively, if possible, in order to make searching dates easier in the ASpace PUI (meaning we typically do not include a date expression unless it's something that cannot be conveyed in the begin/end fields).

But, is anyone else bugged by the way these dates display in the PUI? Here's an example from something we have currently in process:

[cid:image002.jpg at 01D73083.64F2C600]

It isn't terrible, but it's also not the easiest to read. In addition, DACS seems to discourage the use of ISO 8601 for the end user:

2.4.14. For descriptions of a single item, record exact dates in a consistent and unambiguous fashion, preferably expressed as year-month-day, i.e. 1906 March 17 (it also says "Expression of dates as all numerals is discouraged due to the differing conventions in the order of information", and what we have here is all numerals).

We could certainly add a more human-readable date expression to each of these archival objects, but the sentiment here is that if we have good data, ASpace should be able to take '1935-03-19' and display '1935 March 19' (or whatever we like) to a user pretty easily without us having to do any extra work. But, before I file an enhancement request, what do others think about this?


Benn Joseph
Head, Collections Services
McCormick Library of Special Collections & University Archives
Northwestern University Libraries
Northwestern University
benn.joseph at northwestern.edu<mailto:benn.joseph at northwestern.edu%0d>

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