Headings That Do Not Conflict:

Apply the optional provision. This means adding a date whenever it is known.

Twentieth Century Persons:

For persons living in the twentieth century, the date upon which the heading is based should be a precise one. Specifically, add the date to headings for these persons only if it falls into any of the following categories:

1. The person is still living and the year of birth is known ("1900- ").

2. The person is no longer living and the years of birth and death are known ("1900-1981").

3. The person is no longer living and only the year of birth is known ("b. 1900").

4. The person is no longer living and only the date of death is known ("d. 1981").

Note: If a date is a specific non-Gregorian year, add the Gregorian equivalent to the heading even if this means using a date in the form "1921 or 2."

Pre-Twentieth Century Persons:

For pre-twentieth century persons, less precise dates may be used. Consult the examples under 22.17A for guidance. Note one detail about the use of "flourished" dates: "Flourished" dates acceptable for addition to headings for pre-twentieth century persons normally express a span of years of activity. A single year "fl." may be used only in exceptional cases, as when a reference source itself designates the date in this way or there is one publication or other event in the person’s life known to be the single or at least primary basis for a single year.

Existing Headings Already Coded for AACR2:

Do not add the date (birth or death) to an existing heading represented by a name authority record that has already been coded "AACR2" or "AACR2 compatible" (including in either case those labeled "preliminary"-008 byte 33 = d). However, if such a heading must be revised later, add the date(s).

Existing Headings Being Coded for AACR2:

Do not add the date (birth or death) to a heading being coded for AACR2 when the heading is represented by an access point on an existing bibliographic record in the catalog (i.e., the file against which the cataloging and searching is done) and is otherwise in accord with current policy. However, if the person is no longer living and the existing heading contains a date, change the date if it is obsolete in either form or fact. For example, if the existing heading has an open birth date such as "1861- ," either add the death date (if available) or change the open birth date to "b. 1861," or, if the existing heading has an approximate date and the exact date is now available, use the exact date in the AACR2 heading.

Abbreviations B.C. and A.D.:

image\POINT_BL.gif Use the abbreviation B.C. for dates in the pre-Christian era. Place the abbreviation at the end of a date or span of dates in that era.

Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt, 14th cent. B.C.

Spartacus, d. 71 B.C.

Pericles, 499-429 B.C.


image\POINT_BL.gif Use the abbreviation A.D. only when the dates span both eras.

Augustus, Emperor of Rome, 63 B.C.-14 A.D.

Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D.

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, ca. 4 B.C.-65 A.D.

image\POINT_BL.gif If a date is questionable, place the question mark immediately following the date.

Antonius Marcus, 83?-30 B.C.

Vercingetorix, Chief of the Arverni, d. 45? B.C.

See also:

22. Persons