StaffGuide: CONTENTdm Cookbook

Recipes for Metadata Entry for the University of Arkansas Libraries


Field Name: Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Requirement: Mandatory, if available
Repeatable: No  (Although other types of dates can be recorded in separate date elements; see below)
Search: Yes
Hide: No
Vocabulary: No
Dublin Core (DC) Mapping:
MARC Mapping: 260 $c; 008/07-10; 046 $k
CONTENTdm Data Type: Date
Dublin Core Definition: Date of creation of the resource.
UA Definition: The date of creation of the original resource.

These instructions only deal with machine-readable dates entered according to W3CDTF profile of ISO 8601. Such dates may be creation dates or dates of the types discussed in the “Other Dates” section below.

Date Created (

The Date (YYYY-MM-DD) field is mandatory for every resource for which a date is either known or can be estimated.  The field may be used alone, or, when it is desirable to display the date in a textual format (e.g., April 12, 1865 or circa 1952) it can be paired with the optional Date element.

  • For resources created in a non‐digital format and converted to digital format, use the date the non‐digital resource was first created (e.g., for print books, use the publication date of the print book).
  • For resources that have always been in digital format and never converted, use the date the digital resource was created (e.g., PDF document uploaded as a PDF document).
  • For resources that were first created in one digital format, then converted to another digital format (e.g., audio file recorded in WAV format, then converted to MP3 format), use creation date of the first digital format.

Data Entry

If the date is not known or cannot be estimated, leave the field blank. Do not use “Unknown” or “No date.

When the date is known or can be estimated, enter it in one of these formats, all of which conform to both W3CDTF and CONTENTdm standards:

Single Dates

  • YYYY-MM-DD (all three elements are known or can be estimated)       
  • YYYY-MM (the year and month are known or can be estimated)
  • YYYY (only the year is known or can be estimated)


  • YYYY-MM-DD; YYYY-MM-DD; YYYY-MM-DD (a date range containing months and days; for a long date range the earliest date may be entered instead)
  • YYYY-MM; YYYY-MM; YYYY-MM (a date range containing months; for a long date range the earliest date may be entered instead)
  • YYYY-YYYY (a range of years is known or can be estimated based on reasonable information)

Do not use format 07/06/1932 or 11/1900.

Non-Gregorian Dates

If the date on the item does not conform to the Gregorian or Julian calendar, convert it and record in Western-style Arabic numerals. Also give the date as found, along with the name of the calendar, in Notes. For example, “Date on item is 2628, which is dated in accordance with the Chinese calendar” (DACS 2.4.5).

Other Dates

In some collections, other types of dates may be important for the lifecycle of the resources involved. If it is deemed important to record dates additional to the creation date, use separate date elements along with clarifying element names for each.

The following are the DC date refinements that may be used. All should be: searchable, visible, and non-repeatable; coded in CONTENTdm with data type “Date”; and entered in the YYYY-MM-DD format given above.

  • Date Accepted. Date of acceptance of the resource. Examples of resources to which a Date Accepted may be relevant are a thesis (accepted by a university department) or an article (accepted by a journal).
    • Label: Date Accepted
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map:  502 $a with initial label "Date Accepted"[1]
  • Date Available. Date (often a range) that the resource became or will become available.
    • Label: Date Available
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map:  307 [8  ] $a with label “Date Available”[1]
  • Date Copyrighted. Date of copyright.
    • Label: Date Copyrighted
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map: 260 $ c with label “Date Copyrighted”[1]
  • Date Issued. Date of formal issuance (e.g., publication) of the resource.
    • Label: Date Issued
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map: 260 $c with label “Date Issued”[1]
  • Date Modified. Date on which the resource was changed.
    • Label: Date Modified
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map:  046 $j
  • Date Submitted. Date of submission of the resource. Examples of resources to which a Date Submitted may be relevant are a thesis (submitted to a university department) or an article (submitted to a journal).
    • Label: Date Submitted
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map: 502 $a with label "Date Submitted”[1]
  • Date Valid. Date (often a range) of validity of a resource.
    • Examples:  Label: Date Valid
    • DC Map:
    • MARC Map: 046 $m with label “Date Valid”[1]


[1]Using the Digital Collection Gateway “Prefix/Suffix” feature






1945-03-07; 1945-03-08; 1945-03-09; 1945-03-10; 1945-03-11

1966-12; 1967-01; 1967-02

Revision Date: 10/10/19