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Archives & Special Collections: Citation Recommendations

The homepage for the Archives and Special Collections department of Musselman Library.

Citing archival documents - MLA

MLA Works Cited suggested format:

An MLA citation for archival resources involves appending a genre-specific MLA citation format for the item you're citing with the location details for the archives in which it was found.  That might look something like the following:

Item's author if present. Item description. Item date. Box number if given, folder number or name, collection number, collection name. Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH. Date accessed as DD Month, Year.

OR

Master Plan: Executive Summary.  November 2000.  Box 1, Folder "Master Plan - Nov. 2000," I-D-f, Buildings and Grounds. Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH.  25 October, 2013.

Citing archival documents - Chicago

Chicago style suggested formats:

To cite something that you find in a published source, consult the Chicago Style formats for that particular type of source.  

Here are the pieces of information you should record  for constructing a citation for material you find in "gray boxes" in the archives:

  • Item description
  • Date on the item, if known
  • Box number
  • Folder number or name
  • Collection number
  • Collection name

Here is the way you would assemble this information into a proper Chicago style citation or note:

Footnote/Endnote:

Item description, date, box number if given, folder number or name, collection number, collection name, Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton University.

OR

Letter, Larry Gara to Dr. Lloyd Ramseyer, June 26, 1948, (no box number for this one,) Correspondence, 1-X-d, Larry Gara C.O. Court Case, Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton University.

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Short Form:

Item Description, date, collection name.

OR

Letter, Larry Gara to Dr. Lloyd Ramseyer, June 26, 1948, Larry Gara C.O. Court Case.

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Bibliography: [if used]

Collection name, collection number, Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton University.

OR

Larry Gara C.O. Court Case, 1-X-d, Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton University.

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Citation examples for unusual or non-standard publications:

Student handbooks:

Note format:

The Bluffton College Handbook for New Students, 1943-1944(Bluffton, OH: Student Christian Association of Bluffton College, 1943), page #.

Bibliography format:

The Bluffton College Handbook for New Students, 1943-1944.  Bluffton, OH: Student Christian Association of Bluffton College, 1943.

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