Old and new style dates

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are sometimes used with dates to indicate whether the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January (N.S.), even though documents written at the time use a different start of year (O.S.), or whether a date conforms to the Julian calendar (O.S.), formerly in use in many countries, rather than the Gregorian (N.S.).

Closely related is double dating, which uses two consecutive years because of differences in the starting date of the year, or includes both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

Beginning in 1582, the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian in Catholic countries. 

This change was also implemented in Protestant and Orthodox countries some time later. 

In England and Wales, Ireland, and the British colonies, the change of the start of the year and the changeover from the Julian calendar occurred in 1752 under the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750. 

In Scotland, the legal start of the year had already been moved to 1 January (in 1600), but Scotland otherwise continued to use the Julian calendar until 1752.

Many cultures and countries now using the Gregorian calendar have different old styles of dating, depending on the type of calendar they used before the change.

An example is the birth and death dates of Isaac Newton

Source adapted from Old Style and New Style dates. (2015, December 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:30, January 5, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates&oldid=696806056