[Archivesspace_Users_Group] how to encode open-ended date ranges?

Clair, Kevin kmc35 at psu.edu
Thu Oct 13 12:14:41 EDT 2022

Hi Ron,

ArchivesSpace doesn't require that both Begin and End fields are populated when the date type is Inclusive. We have a handful of dates in our database with an expression of "after" or "post" a particular year, where we've set the Begin to that year and left the End null. As far as indexing is concerned it gets us where we'd like to be.

(Whether the ways we've done this in the past is DACS-compliant is a discussion for another time.)  -k
From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> on behalf of Ron Van den Branden <Ron.VandenBranden at antwerpen.be>
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2022 11:52 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] how to encode open-ended date ranges?

Hi Kate,

I realize my analysis might have been biased by a data-oriented view on our current data, which contains quite a number of archival objects with only a start date, and some with only an end date. I’ve asked my colleagues, and open-ended dates are indeed uncommon for resources, accessions, archival, or digital objects: they’ll be mostly ranges with a known start and end date.

How to interpret these single dates in our data is probably a matter of internal interpretation on our end, but still: what is the intended/preferred notation in ArchivesSpace? If the creation time span for a subseries is determined as e.g. 1969, how should this be encoded:

  *   Single date
     *   Begin date = 1969
  *   Inclusive date
     *   Begin date = 1969
     *   End date = 1969




Van: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> Namens Bowers, Kate A.
Verzonden: donderdag 13 oktober 2022 16:57
Aan: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Onderwerp: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] how to encode open-ended date ranges?

Can you explain the case for open-ended dates for resources, accessions, archival, or digital objects?

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org>> On Behalf Of Ron Van den Branden
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2022 10:32 AM
To: archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org<mailto:archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] how to encode open-ended date ranges?


We’re in the process of migrating data to ArchivesSpace, and one thing I’m still struggling with is how to encode open-ended date ranges, using standardized dates only. In other words: how to express:

  *   the fact that only a start date is known
  *   or the fact that only an end date is known

…while still indicating this known date is the start / end of a range whose other end is not known; as opposite to expressing a precise singular/punctual date.

Given the fact that ArchivesSpace currently uses 2 distinct date models for accessions, resources/archival objects and digital objects vs agents (see https://www.mail-archive.com/archivesspace_users_group@lyralists.lyrasis.org/msg05341.html<https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Furldefense.proofpoint.com%2Fv2%2Furl%3Fu%3Dhttps-3A__www.mail-2Darchive.com_archivesspace-5Fusers-5Fgroup-40lyralists.lyrasis.org_msg05341.html%26d%3DDwMGaQ%26c%3DWO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ%26r%3Dwwc_Z_TbmWbPFh7My2zRxmrGgCNO-71Fwzlmd8YZVUY%26m%3DhwhUWCl8DmiVBAr8KCWWuvqIpF5qGU38NpEyKdpmIIC_b1sDZ08xKIYeni9Jn1Sz%26s%3DcH9UvNvbKkbEcG88o6pqGcf3-0l_7L5sIV0c3bplsR8%26e%3D&data=05%7C01%7Ckmc35%40psu.edu%7C41415742bb1344a9c63b08daad32e962%7C7cf48d453ddb4389a9c1c115526eb52e%7C0%7C0%7C638012731654163667%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=m7TjWVJkrdOrGrS5Fuz8nkD067qwgpZ4IJlE9tEa%2Bxk%3D&reserved=0>), I’ll outline the observations and options I’m seeing.

[1] Accessions, resources, archival objects, digital objects:

  *   “Single” date only offers a single date field, labeled “Begin”
  *   “Inclusive” date offers both a “Begin” and “End” date field, only one of which is required

Would this be a good strategy:

  *   “singular/punctual” dates: “single” date, one value as “Begin” date
  *   date range: “inclusive” date, start and end dates as “Begin” and “End” dates, respectively
  *   open-ended date range: “inclusive” date, with known date as either “Begin” or “End” date


This leads me to the question whether in practice “single” dates are used at all for anything except accession dates, creation dates of digital objects, or as dates for only the lowest-level archival objects?

[2] Agents:

  *   “Single” date only offers a single date field, which can be labeled as either “Begin” or “End”
  *   “Inclusive” date offers both a “Begin” and “End” date field, of which “Begin” is mandatory

Would this be a good strategy:

  *   “singular/punctual” dates: “single” date, one value as either “Begin” or “End” date

Note: in EAC output, the begin/end qualification is dismissed: both are exported without distinction as e.g.
<date localType="existence" standardDate="2022-10-08">2022-10-08</date>

  *   date range: “inclusive” date, start and end dates as “Begin” and “End” dates, respectively

  *   open-ended date range: ?
==> problem if only end date is known, since begin date is mandatory

In other words: how would one differentiate between, e.g.:

  *   birth date of a living person (1990 - )
  *   birth date of a deceased person, whose death date is unknown (1800 - ?)
  *   death date of a person whose birth date is unknown (? - 1950)


The documentation in the ArchivesSpace Help Center merely documents the different fields, but I couldn’t find much guidance on how to use them in practice. The DACS, EAD, and EAC documentation is rather sparse as well regarding open-ended date ranges. Therefore, any guidance on this matter would be much appreciated!



Ron Van den Branden | functioneel analist - applicatiebeheerder Letterenhuis

Stad Antwerpen | Talentontwikkeling en Vrijetijdsbeleving |  Musea en Erfgoed

Minderbroedersstraat 22, 2000 Antwerpen

✉ Grote Markt 1, 2000 Antwerpen

gsm +32 0485 02 80 50 | tel. +32 3 222 93 30

letterenhuis.be<https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Furldefense.proofpoint.com%2Fv2%2Furl%3Fu%3Dhttp-3A__www.letterenhuis.be_%26d%3DDwMGaQ%26c%3DWO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ%26r%3Dwwc_Z_TbmWbPFh7My2zRxmrGgCNO-71Fwzlmd8YZVUY%26m%3DhwhUWCl8DmiVBAr8KCWWuvqIpF5qGU38NpEyKdpmIIC_b1sDZ08xKIYeni9Jn1Sz%26s%3DRCdANiyeGbpOaHKErHK7dN3hVi4Xjiqw7EG9JmMGEIM%26e%3D&data=05%7C01%7Ckmc35%40psu.edu%7C41415742bb1344a9c63b08daad32e962%7C7cf48d453ddb4389a9c1c115526eb52e%7C0%7C0%7C638012731654163667%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=wTieV%2BJ%2BPeqgzQlOe9gvWIxIQx0BorVs8pSYhGSyhsg%3D&reserved=0> | instagram<https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Furldefense.proofpoint.com%2Fv2%2Furl%3Fu%3Dhttps-3A__www.instagram.com_letterenhuis_%26d%3DDwMGaQ%26c%3DWO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ%26r%3Dwwc_Z_TbmWbPFh7My2zRxmrGgCNO-71Fwzlmd8YZVUY%26m%3DhwhUWCl8DmiVBAr8KCWWuvqIpF5qGU38NpEyKdpmIIC_b1sDZ08xKIYeni9Jn1Sz%26s%3D23CBQ1OTniE_zIpk904UheXNdpIsl_Gs62ZkcZgRQN4%26e%3D&data=05%7C01%7Ckmc35%40psu.edu%7C41415742bb1344a9c63b08daad32e962%7C7cf48d453ddb4389a9c1c115526eb52e%7C0%7C0%7C638012731654163667%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=pwO5GPTDJjdm6BYQwxWfIx1wYTJNnk21Hj2dM2hPPyY%3D&reserved=0> | facebook<https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Furldefense.proofpoint.com%2Fv2%2Furl%3Fu%3Dhttps-3A__www.facebook.com_Letterenhuis%26d%3DDwMGaQ%26c%3DWO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ%26r%3Dwwc_Z_TbmWbPFh7My2zRxmrGgCNO-71Fwzlmd8YZVUY%26m%3DhwhUWCl8DmiVBAr8KCWWuvqIpF5qGU38NpEyKdpmIIC_b1sDZ08xKIYeni9Jn1Sz%26s%3DVas9PGIxYEolJnQuVo9qEE1hue_eztFb4vZEFEOLCUE%26e%3D&data=05%7C01%7Ckmc35%40psu.edu%7C41415742bb1344a9c63b08daad32e962%7C7cf48d453ddb4389a9c1c115526eb52e%7C0%7C0%7C638012731654163667%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=zRktsxgbwAd4erlyNcR3ULfHLEQBMYw6vRZMhctZk3M%3D&reserved=0>


Vergissen is menselijk. Dus als deze e-mail, samen met eventuele bijlagen, niet voor u bestemd is, vragen we u vriendelijk om dat te melden aan de afzender. Deze e-mail en de bijlagen zijn namelijk officiële documenten van de stad Antwerpen. Ze kunnen vertrouwelijke of persoonlijke informatie bevatten. Als stad nemen we privacy heel serieus en willen we als een goede huisvader waken over de vertrouwelijkheid van documenten. Als u dit bericht per vergissing hebt ontvangen of ergens hebt gevonden, wees dan zo eerlijk om het meteen te verwijderen en het niet verder te verspreiden of te kopiëren.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lyralists.lyrasis.org/pipermail/archivesspace_users_group/attachments/20221013/9551f5ec/attachment.html>

More information about the Archivesspace_Users_Group mailing list