Guidelines for Recording Holdings: Chronology

  • Level 3 - Only the highest level of chronology data, the year, is recorded.
  • Level 4 - All levels of chronology data are recorded.
[ Choice of chronology element ] [ Form of chronology data ]

Choice of Chronology Element

  • More than one date: When more than one type of date is present on the publication, select the date from the following preferred dates, in this order:

    Date of coverage
    Date of publication
    Date of copyright
    Date of printing


  • Reprint dates: Do not use reprint dates. Any reprint information should appear in the bibliographic description.


  • Multiple calendar schemes: When more than one calendar scheme is present on the publication, use the Gregorian date. When only a non-Gregorian date is present, use the non-Gregorian date as the primary chronology, followed by the converted Gregorian date in brackets.


Form of Chronology Data

  • Year: Record the year portion of dates using Arabic numbers, in four-digit format.


  • Year(s) span for single volume: If a single volume or part spans a noncalendar year or more than one year, a forward slash is used to separate the beginning and ending years.


    1969/1970  (noncalendar year or biennial publication)
    1980/1982  (triennial publication)


  • Exact year unknown:: Use a question mark to fill the space of the missing digit. If the century or decade is not known, the year is not recorded.


    not 1???


  • Hierarchy: Record chronological designations from the highest to the lowest level, using a colon to separate each level. If day information is present, record it in conjunction with the month, not as a separate hierarchical level.


        1996:May 12
    not 1996:May:12


  • Months, seasons, and days: Record months, seasons, and days in the vernacular form appearing on the publication (romanized, if necessary). See list of Abbreviations: Names of Months.


  • Chronology not present: If no chronology data is present on the item, none shall be supplied. However, if an item normally carries chronology and such data is omitted from a specific piece, it may be supplied.


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