We have found that some museum specimens are not labeled with their date of collection. In these cases, we use auxilliary information to bracket the date of collection by its Earliest* and Latest* possible years of collection.
To do so, we apply the following rules in order:
- First, we consider notes associated with the specimen. For example, if a specimen contains the note, "collected in the 1880's", then the Earliest* and Latest* values are 1880 and 1889, respectively.
- Then, we consider information about the collector, using the earliest and latest documented collections by that collector as the Earliest* and Latest* values .
- Next, we consider information about the collection with which the specimen is associated. Values for Earliest* and Latest* are then the earliest and latest years documented for that collection.
- Finally, if there is no information for former collection, collector, specimen, and no actual date of collection, then the value "-999" is used for Earliest*, while the current year is used for Latest*.