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Forms of Citation for Primary Sources in the Sophia Smith Collection

Citations for manuscript materials quoted or referred to should include complete and accurate information as to the source of materials used. Examples of citation formats that can be used for footnotes and bibliographies are listed below.

For information on copyright and obtaining permission from the SSC to publish quotations, see our Frequently Asked Questions section.


Footnotes

The citation of an item from a manuscript collection or record group has three parts:

1. Description of the item.

2. Name of the manuscript collection or record group to which it belongs.

3. Name and location of the repository that holds this material.

1. The description of an item ideally consists of the author or source plus the title or type of document plus the date. The details depend on the information available. Here are some examples:

  • Jane Addams to Ellen Gates Starr, September l884
  •   (it is not necessary to include "letter" because this is implied unless otherwise specified.)
  • Memorandum by Mary van Kleeck, 8 August l9l2

2. The name of the manuscript collection or record group assigned by the repository:

  • Margaret Sanger Papers
  • New England Hospital Records
  • Suffrage Collection

Listing the box and folder numbers is not recommended and rarely appears in published citations.

3. The name and location of the repository:

  • Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

When the elements are combined, they are separated by commas:

  • Margaret Sanger to Havelock Ellis, l4 July l924, Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

The full form should be used in the first citation of each author, title, aggregate, or repository. Shortened forms may be used in later citations (e.g., Addams to Starr, Starr Papers, SSC), but they should be explained at the point of first citation if the abbreviation might otherwise be obscure, e.g., "Sophia Smith Collection" (hereafter SSC)


Letter from Susan Hale to her family, 1852
Sample footnote for letter above from the Hale Family Papers:
Susan Hale to her family, 7 December 1852, Hale Family Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

 

Bibliographies

The leading manuals of style recommend these components in this order for bibliographic citations:

  1. 1. Name of the manuscript collection to which it belongs
  2.       (or the individual item if there is no aggregate)
  3. 2. Name and location of the repository

For example:

  • Starr, Ellen Gates. Papers. Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Notice the use of periods to separate the components and commas to separate the sub-components.

It is also acceptable to reverse the order of the components, beginning with the name of the repository:

  • Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass. Margaret Sanger Papers.
  • _______________________________. Mary van Kleeck Papers.
  •    (A line is used instead of repeating the initial elements that are the same as in the preceding citation.)

Or its location:

  • Northampton, Mass. Smith College. Sophia Smith Collection. Margaret Sanger Papers.
  • _______________________________. Mary van Kleeck Papers.

Whatever order is used, manuscript and archival collections should be alphabetized in a separate section of the bibliography from individual published sources.

*     *     *

This information is based on The Chicago Manual of Style, l4th ed. (l993), which is the most frequently used authority for historical publications. If you are using a different manual for your citations of published sources, you will need to modify your citations of unpublished sources for consistency in such details as punctuation and capitalization, but the principles of order are the same. For examples of such adaptation, see The MLA Style Manual (l985), which is the favorite authority in language and literary studies. Either manual may be helpful for special formats such as sound recordings or graphics.


 

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 © 2005 Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 Page last updated on Monday, 01 April 2013