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Citing Archival Materials

It is important to cite your sources well so that you and future researchers can find them at a later date. Because archival materials are not catalogued like regular published resources, citing your sources properly ensures that the archives staff may locate them again. When you are doing research in the archives you should write down any important information regarding folder and box labels so that the material can be relocated later.

The particular style you use for footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, dates, page and volume numbers, punctuation, and capitalization will depend on the style manual (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style or Modern Language Association). Whatever style you use it is essential that all the needed elements are included in the citation. Generally, the more information you include, the better. Start with the specific and work to the general, i.e. the item to the collection, with as many steps in between as given.

General citation formats:

Manuscripts
[item], [folder title], [series title (if any)], [collection name], [accession or manuscript number], [name of curatorial unit*], Special Collections and Archives, Furman University, Greenville, S.C.

Photograph Captions
[description of image], [identification number or name], [name of curatorial unit*], Special Collections and Archives, Furman University, Greenville, S.C.

*The curatorial units are: Manuscript Collection; University Archives; South Carolina Poetry Collection; SC Baptist Historical Collection.

Examples of citations:

Correspondence
Nancy Taylor to Phebe Davidson, 15 June 2001, Correspondence, Box 1, Accession 2007-014, Phebe Davidson Collection, SC Poetry Archives, Special Collections and Archives, Furman University, Greenville, SC.

Photograph Captions
Graduation, 1997- Paladin Stadium, Box 1, Furman Postcard Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Furman University, Greenville, SC.

Web Site
History 21 Student Websites- Merger- The Merger. Retrieved April 2, 2010, from Furman University, Southern Labor Archives Web site: http://library.furman.edu/specialcollections/HST21/merger/the_merger.htm

See also

Citing Archival Materials, River Falls Area Research Center & University Archives

How to Cite Archival Materials, University of Wollongong

Citing Archival Material, Gallaudet University