Maybe you’ve heard — library and archives content standards are NOT DOWN with abbreviations these days. This is part of an effort to recognize that we no longer have to fit our descriptions onto catalog cards, and that the less confusing jargon we present to our patrons, the better!
In my repository, we made an official switch from abbreviated months to spelled-out months. However, there was still an enormous corpus of legacy abbreviations in Archivists’ Toolkit.
This is the kind of problem that power tools are great at solving. Check out my sql, posted here, for a big, fat find-and-replace that goes through the date expression field in AT and makes everything better. It looks for month abbreviations, common misspellings, variations of the term “circa” and variations on “undated.” I have my eye on brackets, too, but it might be too hairy to deal with them right now. Please feel free to use this in your own repository.
Also, stay tuned for part two, where I dispose of contemptible manuscript tradition abbreviations!