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Students Guide to Special Collections and University Archives Research: Citations

UIC Special Collections and University Archives Citation Guide

It is important to know how to cite primary sources and where to go to find that information. We’ll give you some of the basics of Chicago style and MLA styles below, but for further instructions you should check websites like Purdue’s Online Writing Lab, the guide at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wesleyan University, University of Arkansas, or published citation guides like The Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.


The purpose of a citation is to lead your readers to original sources; the citation needs to have enough information so that the information can be found again easily. Specific information will depend on the source, but you will generally need to include an author, title or identifier, date, collection, box and folder number, and repository.It’s better to include too much information than not enough.


Examples adapted from the Library of Congress’ Citing Primary Sources page:

Manuscripts

Chicago Citation Format (Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., sections 17.270, 17.222-33)

Structure:

  1. Author’s last name, first name, middle initial.
  2. Title of document (in italics).
  3. Format (letter, manuscript, pamphlet…).
  4. Publisher city: publishing company, copyright date. (if given).
  5. Source (From Library of Congress in normal font), Collection name with dates (in italics).

Last name, First name Middle initial. Title of Work. Format. City: Publishing Company, copyright date. Source,Collection.

Example: “Fighting Police Abuse: Coalition Plans Citizen Hearings and Organizing Workshops.” Press release. 1992. Universityof Illinois at Chicago Special Collections, Citizens Alert records, Box 22, Folder 377.


MLA Citation Format (MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.12 and 5.6.2d).

Structure:

  1. Author last name, author first name
  2. Title (italicized, or quotation marks for a minor work)
  3. Date of composition
  4. Form of the material – MS for manuscript, TS for typescript
  5. Name of library, institution, or collection which houses the work, followed by the location
  6. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  7. Medium (if from the Web)
  8. Date of access
  9. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Last name, First name. “Title.” Date. Form of the material. Institution, city. Title of the Web site. Day Month Year ofaccess. <opt. URL>.


Example: “Fighting Police Abuse: Coalition Plans Citizen Hearings and Organizing Workshops.” 1992. TS. Citizens Alert records, Box 22, Folder 377, University of Illinois at Chicago Special Collections, Chicago, IL.

Newspapers

Chicago Citation Format (Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., sections 17.270, 17.188)
Structure:
  1. Author’s last name, first name, middle initial (if given; if no author is given, use title of Newspaper here instead in italics)
  2. Title of article (in quotes); Title of newspaper (if not used above) in italics.
  3. Format (leave blank if printed document)
  4. Publisher city: publishing company, copyright date.
  5. Source (From Library of Congress in normal font), Collection name with dates (in italics).
  6. Medium (software requirement needed to access source ).
  7. URL (use bibliographic record URL or shorter digital id if available at bottom of bib record).
  8. Accessed date (in parenthesis).
 
Last name, First name Middle initial. Title of Work. Format. City: Publishing Company, copyright date. Source,Collection. Medium, http://...(accessed date).

Example: The Stars and Stripes, “Services Plan to Aid Returned Men in Securing Jobs.” Dec. 13, 1918. From Library ofCongress. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/np_item.pl?collection=sgpsas&agg=sgpsas&iss=19181213&page=1(accessed Feb. 10, 2012).

MLA Citation Format (MLA Handbook, 7th ed., section 5.4.5 and 5.6.2c)
Structure:
  1. Author last name, author first name (if applicable)
  2. Title of article (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of newspaper (italicized), city of publication if needed (square brackets, not italicized) and date published (with no punctuation in between)
  4. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  5. Medium (Web)
  6. Date of access
  7. URL (in angle brackets) – optional
Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper [city] Day Month Year published. Title of the Web site.Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Example: “Services Plan to Aid Returned Men in Securing Jobs.” The Stars and Stripes 13 Dec. 1918. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10Feb. 2012. <http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/np_item.pl?collection=sgpsas&agg=sgpsas&iss=19181213&page=1>.

Photographs

Chicago Citation Format (Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., sections 17.270, 8.206)
Structure: 
  • Photographer’s last name, first name, middle initial (if given). [Include role after name, i.e. photographer.]
  • “Photo Title.” (Title of a song, a poem or a single photograph is in quotes, not italics.) [Include brackets if given in bibliographic record.]
  • Format (photograph).
  • Publisher city: publishing company, copyright date (include c [circa] if given; if no date, use n.d.).
  • Source (From Library of Congress in normal font), Collection name with dates (in italics).
  • Medium (software requirement needed to access source ).
  • URL (use bibliographic record URL or shorter digital id if available at bottom of bib record).
  • Accessed date (in parenthesis).
 
Last name, First name Middle initial. Title of Work. Format. City: Publishing Company, copyright date. Source,Collection. Medium, http://...(accessed date).

Example: Kirkland, Wallace, photographer. “JAMC_0000_0066_0604.” Photograph. Near West Side, Chicago, IL, c1920s-1930s. From University of Illinois: Seven Settlements: Database of Photos.http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uic_7sh&CISOPTR=3467&CISOBOX=1&REC=1 (accessed July 26, 2014).

MLA Citation Format (MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.6 and 5.6.2d)
Structure:
  • Artist last name, artist first name
  • Title (italicized)
  • Date of composition
  • Format (photograph)
  • Institution that houses the work, city where the piece is located6. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  • Medium (Web)
  • Date of access
  • URL (in angle brackets) – optional
Last name, First name. Title. Date of composition. Photograph. Institution, City. Title of the Web site. Web. DayMonth Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Example: Kirkland, Wallace. JAMC_0000_0066_0604. c1920s-1930s. Photograph. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.Seven Settlements: Database of Photos. Web. 26 Jul. 2014.<http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uic_7sh&CISOPTR=3467&CISOBOX=1&REC=1>.
 
 

Maps

Chicago Citation Format (Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., sections 17.270, 17.141)

Structure:

  1. Author’s last name, first name, middle initial (if given, or person responsible for content).
  2. Title of document (in italics) [shorten to meaningful limits].
  3. Format (map, chart).
  4. Publisher city: publishing company, copyright date.
  5. Source (From Library of Congress in normal font), Collection name with dates (in italics).
  6. Medium (software requirement needed to access source).
  7. URL (use bibliographic record URL or shorter digital id if available at bottom of bib record).
  8. Accessed date (in parenthesis).

Last name, First name Middle initial. Title of Work. Format. City: Publishing Company, copyright date. Source,Collection. Medium, http://...(accessed date).


Example: Ashmun, Jehudi. Map of the West Coast of Africa from Sierra Leone to Cape Palmas, including the Colony of Liberia. Map. Philadelphia: A. Finley, 1830. From Library of Congress, Map Collections. http://www.loc.gov/item/96680499(accessed January 9, 2006).


MLA Citation Format (MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.8 and 5.6.2c)

Structure:

  1. Title (italicized; in roman type and quotation marks if the work is part of a larger work)
  2. Format (map or chart)
  3. If part of a larger work, include that title (italicized) after the format
  4. Location: publisher, date
  5. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  6. Medium (Web)
  7. Date of access
  8. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Title. Map. Location: publisher, date. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.


Example: Map of the West Coast of Africa from Sierra Leone to Cape Palmas, including the Colony of Liberia. Map. Philadelphia: Finley, 1830. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/item/96680499>.