[Crm-sig] Floruit or Flourished dates

Lina Bountouri linabountouri at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 31 09:43:29 EET 2010

Deal all, 
"Floruit" or "flourished" dates are the dates that define the period that a person (and more rarely a group, a movement) was active in a specific domain. It is usually met in (but not limited to) writers' and artists' biographies, especially in cases that no birth and death dates can be found, however there is evidence for the period he/she was active based on the works, paintings, sculptures etc he/she created.  The abbreviation "fl" is observed next to a date and denotes the latin verb "floruit". 
According to Wikipedia, sometimes it is used to denote the period of activity of a movement [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floruit].
According to the Cataloguing Guidelines of the Variations2 Project of the Indiana University Digital Music Library flourished dates can also be used for corporate entities: "Flourish Date and Source: Specifies the flourish dates for an individual or corporate entity when exact birth and death dates are unknown." [http://www.dml.indiana.edu/metadata/manual/defin/contribdef.htm#fd]]
Definition of "Floruit dates"

In Wiktionary the definition of "floruit" is [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/floruit]: 
For the noun: The time period during which a person, group, culture, etc. is at its peak.
For the verb: a) third-person singular perfect active indicative of flōreō. ([he or she] flourished), b) (in post-Classical texts) was productive around the time of.

Based on the "RULES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PERSONAL, PLACE AND CORPORATE NAMES" of the NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ARCHIVES (UK, 1997) [http://www.ncaonline.org.uk/materials/namingrules.pdf]: 
Flourit means that the person so designated was active at a particular date or during a particular period. If life-span or birth/death dates cannot be established with sufficient precision to use circa, or if the individual is unidentifiable, a period longer or shorter than the whole life-span suggested by internal evidence, or by the date of the document if contemporary, may be expressed as floruit dates. The abbreviation for floruit is fl followed by a space but without a full stop. As floruit itself is imprecise, it should not be combined with ? or c. (It is anticipated that floruit dates will be widely used for unidentifiable persons known only in a local context or named only in primary sources. In such cases, the addition of an epithet such as occupation and/or place of residence, though not mandatory, would be very helpful.)
Used in standards and metadata

In the ISAAR (CPF) standard [http://www.icacds.org.uk/eng/ISAAR(CPF)2ed.pdf]:
In the scope note of the "Dates of existence" field: 
"Record the dates of existence of the entity being described. For corporate bodies include the date of establishment / foundation / enabling legislation and dissolution. For persons include the dates or approximate dates of birth and death or, when these dates are not known, floruit dates."

In MARC 21 Authorities [http://www.loc.gov/marc/authority/concise/ad100.html]:
100 - Heading-Personal Name (NR), subfield $d - Dates associated with a name (NR): Dates of birth, death, or flourishing, or any other date associated with a name. 

In the East London Theatre Archive (ELTA) web site [http://www.elta-project.org/faq.html]:
"Fl. (for the Latin floruit, meaning flourished) is provided by the cataloguer when the actual dates of the person are unknown, and the name needs a date to distinguish it from other names. The floruit date refers to the time when the person was known to be active, and an exact birth or death date isn't known." 
My best wishes for a happy new year!
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