<date> Date

<date> is a generic element that contains a month, day, and/or year in any format. It may be entered as text or numbers and as a single date or range. The type of date element one uses depends on the parent element and situation. See <daterange>, <dateset>, <datesingle>, <unitdate>, and <unitdatestructured> for specific and controlled types of date encoding.

A standard numeric form of the date (YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD, etc.) can be specified with the @normal attribute to facilitate machine comparison of dates for searching, for example, 19480101/19980401 (YYYYMMDD/YYYYMMDD), 1948-01-01/1998-04-01 (YYYY-MM-DD/YYYY-MM-DD), or 1948/1998 (YYYY/YYYY). The @localtype attribute can be used to supply a more specific designation, for example, “creation,” “depiction,” “publication,” or “acquisition.” The @certainty attribute may be used to indicate the degree of precision in the dating, for example, “circa,” “approximately,” or “after.” The @calendar attribute specifies the calendar from which the date stems, such as “gregorian.” The @era attribute specifies the era, such as “ce” for Common (or Christian) Era.

<date> may be used within <abstract>, <archref>, <bibref>, <entry>, <event>, <item>, <p>, <physfacet>, <publicationstmt>, <ref>, and <unittitle>.


  • @altrender – not required. Use if the content of the element should be displayed or printed differently than the rendering established in a style sheet for other occurrences of the element.
  • @audience – not required. Use to set whether the element’s contents will be visible to external users or to internal ones. Possible values are: “internal” and “external.”
  • @calendar – not required. Sets the calendar used, such as “gregorian.”
  • @certainty – not required. May be used to indicate degree of precision used in dating—”circa,” “approximately,” “after,” etc.
  • @encodinganalog – not required. May contain information to map this tag to a particular element in another schema.
  • @era – not required. May be used to indicate the era in which the date falls, such as “ce” for “Common” (or sometimes “Christian”) era.
  • @id – not required. Creates an ID for element. Can be used for linking.
  • @lang – not required. Three-letter code that indicates the language in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 639-2b.
  • @localtype – not required. May be used to specify the type of date, such as “creation,” “publication,” etc.
  • @normal – not required. A standard numeric form of the date used for machine reading and comparison, i.e. YYYY-MM-DD, YYYY/YYYY, etc..
  • @script – not required. Four-letter code that indicates the script in which the element’s contents were written. It should come from ISO 15924.

Child Elements

<date> may contain text as well as <abbr>, <emph>, <expan>, <foreign>, <lb />, <ptr/>, and <ref>.


  <publisher>Piecemaking University</publisher>
  <date normal="2020-06-08">June 8, 2020</date>
      <addressline>University Archives</addressline>
      <addressline>Piecemaking University</addressline>
      <addressline>Lancaster, PA 17603</addressline>
      <addressline localtype="phone">+1-717-555-1313</addressline>
      <addressline localtype="email">archivist@piecemaking.edu</addressline>
  <head>Technical Requirements</head>
  <p>Recordings from <date normal="1997/2006">1997-2006</date> are only available on VHS. These may be watched in the reading room.</p>

Changes from EAD 2002

<date> gained attributes @lang and @script while @type was changed to @localtype. It gained child elements <abbr>, <expan>, <foreign>, and <ref>. Its parent elements were restricted, particularly with the introduction of <datesingle>, <daterange>, and <dateset>.

EAD3 Tag Library Entry

View the official tag library entry for <date>