- 3.7.3 Date(s) of descriptions Delete the word “roughly”.
Purpose – To identify and record the date(s) of the unit of description
Rules – Record at least one of the following types of dates for the unit of description, as appropriate to the materials and the level of description.
- Date(s) when records were accumulated in the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs;
- Date(s) when documents were created. This includes the dates of copies, editions or versions of, attachments to, or originals of items generated prior to their accumulation as records.
Identify the type of date(s) given. Other dates may be supplied and identified in accordance with national conventions. Record as a single date or a range of dates as appropriate. A range of dates should always be inclusive unless the unit of description is a record-keeping system (or part thereof) in active use.
For born digital archives, the aim should be to automatically capture and record both Date created and Date last modified. Either or both can be displayed in the date field, although neither may actually bear any resemblance to what we chose to call the ‘meaningful’ date – the date of the content. Date last modified, for example, may actually be the date of the last major system migration.
Once again then, our desire to provide meaningful dates to users will need to be balanced with pragmatism as to look at every single file and create ‘meaningful’ dates will probably be impossible. The general principle is then to make it clear which sort of date (or dates) are being supplied and how reliably they can be taken to represent the meaningful date, e.g. see the note in the description field of this entry;
We also spoke briefly about having a pop up that asked users to enter or confirm a meaningful date if they looked at the file.