in a project, we are preparing a biographical database. We stumbled upon
a few questions regarding the notation of precision in live events.
E.g., we want to record the reign of historical rulers. We decided that
this is probably recorded best as a <state>. So we have, e.g.,
<state type="reign" from="-2592" to="-2566"/>
Now the time of the regency is not always known for sure. From the
discussion about recording the precision of date ranges, I remember that
<precision> is a good solution to record this. So we’d like to record
<state type="reign" from="-2592" to="-2566">
<precision match="@from" atLeast="-2592" atMost="-2567"/>
<precision match="@to" atLeast="-2566" atMost="-2541"/>
But in contrast to <date>, <state> does not allow <precision> as a child
element. Is there a better way to record this? Or should <state> be
extended to allow <precision>?
A second question came up regarding cases where only one end of the
range is known. It seemed wrong to omit either @from or @to, since this
could be interpreted as being infinite, instead of unknown. We saw the
advice to record this with @cert="unknown", but this makes only sense
when the complete date is unknown, not when only one end of the range is
unknown. We thought along the lines of
<state type="reign" from="-2730">
<precision match="@from" atLeast="-2730" atMost="-2705"/>
<precision match="@to" precision="unknown"/>
But it also seemed strange to have a <precision> element for an absent
attribute. Any suggestions as how to record this case?
Thanks in advance,
Frederik Elwert M.A.
Centrum für Religionswissenschaftliche Studien
Raum FNO 01/180
Tel. +49-(0)234 - 32 24794