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PERIOD - Humanities

Field label
Field mnemonic
Field name
  • Period Designation
  • Période associée à l'objet
Field definition
This field contains the name of the historical period or any non-numeric chronological data associated with the object.
Strongly recommended for uploading to Artefacts Canada. Required field for uploading to Artefacts Canada for data contributed to Artefacts Canada as part of a CHIN-funded project (e.g. VMC).
Edits were made to this field in May 2010. Data entry rules were made more precise, and harmonized with those recommended in Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images. By Murtha Baca, Patricia Harpring, Elisa Lanzi, Linda McRae, and Ann Whiteside. Visual Resources Association. Chicago: American Library Association, 2006. Website: (accessed 2010-03-05).
Entry rules
Enter the historical period, or textual date. Periods that are stated or implied in the Period field can also be specified with numeric dates in the BPD1 and EPD2 fields. Multiple entries are allowed. Use natural word order. Do not capitalize words other than proper nouns or period names. Use diacritics as required. Express words and phrases in the language of the catalogue record, except where a term in another language is most commonly used, as with the name of a period. Avoid abbreviations, except with ca. (for circa), the numbers in century or dynasty designations (for example, 17th century), and BCE and CE. Do not use BC (Before Christ) or AD (Anno Domini). Use ordinal numbers (for example, 4th) and Arabic numbers (for example, 1959), as appropriate. Dates can also be qualified by adding one of the following attributes: century (e.g. 17th century), early, mid, late, first half, second half, first and last. Attributes should be separated from the date with a space. To express uncertainty or otherwise clarify the dates, place editorial commentary before the dates or date span. For example: 1568 or 1569, circa (ca.), before, after, probably, and ? (uncertain). Record the significance of the date (e.g. constructed; designed; begun) if applicable. Use BCE (Before Common Era) to indicate dates before the year 1. For dates after the year 1, do not include the designation CE (Current Era) except where confusion may occur because either the span of dates begins BCE and ends CE (for example, 75 BCE-10 CE) or the date is within the first few centuries of the Current Era. For very ancient dates, BCE is often not appropriate; use the phrases years ago or before present (for example, created about 75,000 years ago) in these cases, but do not use abbreviations such as y.a. or B.P. For very ancient works, use the word about rather than ca. to indicate approximate dates (for example, about 18,000 years ago). When the exact date is unknown, record dates with the greatest accuracy known; indicate the date to the nearest decade or century, where appropriate. Do not use an apostrophe with decades (for example, 1890s, not 1890’s). If there is no more precise date known than the broad period or the reign of a ruler, express dates according to a named period, dynasty, or ruler’s reign, as appropriate.
Cataloguers rules
See also, School/Style (SA) and Style (STY). In some cases, the period named in the Period field may be the same as recorded in the School/Style or Culture field.
Data type
alpha-numeric string
  • Victorian
  • Renaissance
  • 16th century
  • late 14th century
  • 1890s
  • probably early 12th century
  • last half of 1957
  • created about 75,000 years ago
  • last decade of XVIIth century
  • first half of XIXth century
  • ca.1750
  • before 1758
  • 463 BCE
  • 15 BCE-20 CE
  • 221-206 BCE
  • completed between 1950 and 1952
  • New Kingdom, 18th dynasty (1404-1365 BCE)
  • Victorienne
  • Renaissance
  • 16ème siècle
  • Baroque
  • fin du 14ème siècle
  • dans les années 1890
  • probablement du début du 12ème siècle
  • dernière moitié de 1957
  • créé il y a environ 75,000 ans
  • dernière décennie du XVIIème siècle
  • première moitié du 19ème siècle
  • ca. 1750
  • avant 1758
  • 463 avant notre ère
  • 15 avant notre ère – 20 de notre ère
  • 221-206 avant notre ère
  • complété entre 1950 et 1952
  • New Kingdom, 18ème dynastie (1404-1365 avant notre ère)
Authority list
• Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). J. Paul Getty Trust. Website: (accessed 2010-03-05). The Styles and Periods Hierarchy is most relevant for this field. • Ministère de la culture et de la communication de France, Base de données Joconde, Vocabulaires scientifiques pour la description des collections. Website: (accessed 2010-03-05). Lists Écoles, Époques ou styles and Périodes are the most useful for this field.
  • Multidiscipline
  • Archaeology (Specimens) Task Force
  • History extra Task Force
  • Fine and Decorative Arts Task Force
  • Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images. By Murtha Baca, Patricia Harpring, Elisa Lanzi, Linda McRae, and Ann Whiteside. Visual Resources Association. Chicago: American Library Association, 2006. Pages 166-176. Website: (accessed 2013-10-28).
Field label (French)
Field mnemonic (French)

Contact information for this web page
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