For every source in your paper, you must provide complete bibliographical information so your reader will know where you got the information. This allows your readers to find the sources in order to evaluate your interpretation of them or to read more extensively from them to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. There are numerous ways to document sources, and most academic disciplines have their own preferred methods and style manuals to guide the way. While each historian is different and opinions are in a constant state of flux, the most widely used style manual for historians continues to be the Chicago Manual of Style.
The Chicago Manual of Style uses a system of footnotes or endnotes for documentation, along with a bibliography. Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations and Mary Lynn Rampolla's A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (which was used extensively in preparing this guide) are also widely used by historians, since both are based on the Chicago system of documentation. Most historians, feeling the system imprecise and prone to misunderstandings, do not use or accept parenthetical documentation as promoted by the Modern Language Association. However, as with all issues about writing, you should consult your professor's guidelines for documentation and follow them. The following examples, based on the Chicago system, are simply models for instruction. They should not take the place of using the appropriate style manuals for your classes, especially since the examples treat only the most common citations. Please direct any questions you have to your professor or the HWRC.
Note: The first example in each case below is the note form, footnote or endnote, and the second example in each case is the bibliography form. Take notice of the differences between the two forms in word order, punctuation, spacing, and format.
I. Articles and Periodicals
Article in Journal or Periodical (Continuously Paginated): Provide the author's name, article's title, journal or periodical name, volume number, month and year of issue, and page numbers.
1Kyle F. Zelner, "Essex County's Two Militias: The Social Composition of Offensive and Defensive Militias during King Philip's War, 1675-1676," New England Quarterly 72 (December 1999): 577-78, 588.
Zelner, Kyle F. "Essex County's Two Militias: The Social Composition of Offensive and Defensive Militias during King Philip's War, 1675-1676." New England Quarterly 72 (December 1999): 577-93.
Article in Journal or Periodical (Paginated by Issue): Citing the issue number is optional if the journal is continuously paginated (i.e., the issue's page numbering picks up where the last issue left off). Since most scholarly journals are continuously paginated, the month and year are usually enough to direct the reader to the correct issue. If a journal issue is individually paginated (see example below), then include the volume number followed by the issue number (e.g., "34, no. 1" or "34/1" are both acceptable forms of volume and issue citation). Also, note that a colon-not a comma-precedes the page numbers in a journal citation.
43Kathleen Wheeler, "View from the Outhouse: What We Can Learn from the Excavation of Privies," Historical Archaeology 34, no. 1 (2000): 3-19.
Wheeler, Kathleen. "View from the Outhouse: What We Can Learn from the Excavation of Privies." Historical Archaeology 34, no. 1 (2000): 3-19.
Book Review: Book review citations begin with the reviewer's name, the review's title (if the reviewer provides one), the reviewed book's title and the author, followed by the periodical's name, volume, date, and relevant page numbers. When book reviews appear in newspapers, be sure to include the exact date, section, and page numbers of the review.
18Robert B. Reich, "On the Slag Heap of History," review of Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town by William Serrin, New York Times Book Review, November 8, 1992, 15-16.
Reich, Robert B. "On the Slag Heap of History." Review of Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town by William Serrin. New York Times Book Review, November 8, 1992, 15-16.
11Scott Reynolds Nelson, "A Whiter Shade of Paleface, or Remembering Boys and Guns," review of Making Sense of the Molly Maguires by Kevin Kenny, Reviews in American History 28 (March 2000): 50-54.
Nelson, Scott Reynolds. "A Whiter Shade of Paleface, or Remembering Boys and Guns." Review of Making Sense of the Molly Maguires by Kevin Kenny. Reviews in American History 28 (March 2000): 50-54.
Newspaper Article: Newspaper citations typically list the author, title, newspaper name, place of publication (in parentheses), date, and section and/or references. Many early American newspaper editors neither paginated the issue nor entitled the articles. If you are citing the Pennsylvania Gazette from 1755, for example, you need only to cite the month, day, and year. For bibliographic citations, provide dates for the days, months, or years that you consulted.
13Gabe, Rose. "Heritage of American Indians Ignored in Education." Indian Country Today (Canastota, N.Y.), August 16, 2000, A5.
Rose, Gabe. "Heritage of American Indians Ignored in Education." Indian Country Today (Canastota, N.Y.), August 16, 2000, A5.
31Pennsylvania Gazette, November 20, 1755.
Pennsylvania Gazette (October 1, 1730-December 23, 1755)
II. Primary Sources, Manuscript Collections, and Unpublished Materials
Primary Source Document in a Published Collection: When citing a primary source (especially a translated one) in a published collection, provide the author's name, the original source's title and its date of composition or publication, the editor's and/or translator's names, and the citation for the published collection wherein the primary source appears.
23Sieur de Dièreville, Relation of the Voyage to Port Royal in Acadia or New France (Rouen, 1708), ed. John Clarence Webster, trans. Mrs. Clarence Webster, in The Indian Peoples of Eastern America, ed. James Axtell (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), 62-63.
Dièreville, Sieur de. Relation of the Voyage to Port Royal in Acadia or New France (Rouen, 1708). Edited by John Clarence Webster and translated by Mrs. Clarence Webster. In The Indian Peoples of Eastern America. Edited by James Axtell. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981, 62-63.
Published Government Documents: As the examples below attest, citations for government documents vary widely. When in doubt, ask either your professor or the History Writing Resources Center. In general, congressional documents should specify either the House or Senate, the committee (if applicable), the Congress, session, publication name (e.g., Congressional Record or a specific report), the volume, part, and page numbers. If you are citing a multi-volume, multi-series collection of government documents (such as the Official Records of the Civil War), be sure to cite the series number and the volume(s).
37U.S. Congress, Senate, Senator Burton K. Wheeler speaking against Lend-Lease, 77th Congress, 1st session, Congressional Record 87 (January 12, 1941), Appendix, 178-79.
U.S. Congress. Senate. Senator Burton K. Wheeler speaking against Lend-Lease. 77th Congress, 1st session. Congressional Record 87 (January 12, 1941), Appendix, 178-79.
46Report of Rear-Admiral David G. Farragut, August 5, 1864, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, 27 vols. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office,1894-1917), 21: 405-7.
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1 , 27 vols. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office,1894-1917.
27First Indian Deed to William Penn, 1682, Pennsylvania Archives, 9 ser., 138 vols. (Philadelphia: Joseph Severns & Co., 1852-1949), 1st ser., 1: 47-48.
Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia: Joseph Severns & Co., 1852-1949.
Presidential and Other Paper Collections: Include the editor's name (if there are multiple editors, cite the principal editor's name and then put the abbreviation "et. al." after it ["et.al." is latin for "and others"]), the title, number of volumes published to date, publisher, and place and date(s) of publication. Collections of Presidential Papers frequently appear in series, so be sure to cite the exact series (e.g., "Presidential Series") and the volume numbers that are included in that series.
41Lord Howe to George Washington, August 17, 1776, in The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, ed. Philander D. Chase, 10 vols. to date (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1985-2000), 6: 76.
Washington, George. The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series. Edited by Philander D. Chase. 10 vols. to date. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1985-2000.
Manuscript Collections: Bibliographic Citations: In a formal bibliography, identify the archive's or library's name, location, and its manuscript collections that you consulted beneath. If the archive has given a manuscript collection a special number or code, or if you have consulted a microfilm version of the collection, then include that information as well.
and Rare Books Department, Earl Gregg Swem Library, Williamsburg, Va.
Benjamin S. Ewell Papers
Colonel William Lamb Diary
William Booth Taliaferro Papers
York State Archives, Albany, N.Y.
New York Colonial Manuscripts, 1638-1800 (A1894) (55 microfilm reels)
Petitions and Appeals to the Canal Board, 1828-1926 (A1140) (110 microfilm reels)
Manuscript Collections: Notes: In the initial citation from a manuscript collection, first identify the exact item (e.g., letter, petition, etc.), then the collection name, institution, and specific volume, reel, folio, or page numbers. In a subsequent citation you may choose to abbreviate the collection name and the archive (e.g., "NYCM" for "New York Colonial Manuscripts" or "Swem Library" for "Earl Gregg Swem Library"). If you choose to abbreviate a collection that you frequently cite, indicate the name in a subsequent abbreviation in the initial citation (e.g., "hereafter referred to as . . .").
16Petition of Canajohary Indians to James DeLancey, October 6, 1754, New York Colonial Manuscripts, NYSA, vol. 79, p. 58.
Unpublished Thesis or Dissertation: Include the author's name, thesis or dissertation title, degree requirement (e.g., M.A. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation), institution's name, and date of completion.
14Michael A. Simoncelli, "Ruffians and Revivalists: Manliness, Violence, and Religion in the Backcountry South, 1790-1840," Master's thesis, College of William and Mary, 1999.
Simoncelli, Michael A. "Ruffians and Revivalists: Manliness, Violence, and Religion in the Backcountry South, 1790-1840." Master's thesis, College of William and Mary, 1999.
Conference Paper or Published Conference Proceedings: For an unpublished conference paper, include the author's name, conference paper's title, and the conference's name, location, and date. For published conference proceedings, provide the author's name, essay title, collection title, conference name, editor, and facts of publication.
21David L. Preston, "‘They will mutually support each other': Indians and Squatters in the Pennsylvania Backcountry, 1730-1770," paper presented at the Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 1999.
Preston, David L. "‘They will mutually support each other': Indians and Squatters in the Pennsylvania Backcountry, 1730-1770." Paper presented at the Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 1999.
15Peter Moogk, "Ile Royale: The Other New France," in Essays in French Colonial History: Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society, ed. A.J.B. Johnston (East Lansing, Mi.: Michigan State University Press, 1997), 43-54.
Moogk, Peter. "Ile Royale: The Other New France." In Essays in French Colonial History: Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society, ed. A.J.B. Johnston. East Lansing, Mi.: Michigan State University Press, 1997, 43-54.
III. Audio-Visual Sources
Film or Videocassette: Include the film's or documentary's title, the producer or director, running time, total number of volumes, production company, date of release, and medium (e.g., videocassette or DVD). In a multi-episode documentary series, you may wish to cite the individual episode's name and/or number.
34A Midwife's Tale, prod. Laurie Kahn-Levitt, 88 mins., Blueberry Hill Productions, 1997, videocassette.
A Midwife's Tale. Produced by Laurie Kahn-Levitt. 88 mins. Blueberry Hill Productions, 1997. Videocassette.
39The Civil War, produced by Ken Burns, 11 hours, PBS Video, 1990, 9 videocassettes.
The Civil War. Produced by Ken Burns. 11 hours. PBS Video, 1990. 9 videocassettes.
16"Ain't Scared of Your Jails (1960-61)," Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, PBS Video, 1986, episode 2, videocassette.
"Ain't Scared of Your Jails (1960-61)." Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years. PBS Video, 1986. Episode 2. Videocassette.
Musical or Sound Recordings: Include the composer's or performer's name, musical work's or album's title, then the artist's, performer's, or ensemble's name, the recording company or record label, date of release or reissue, medium (e.g., CD, cassette, etc.), and the album number.
29Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concertos, 1-6, Academy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood, Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre, 1985, CD 414-187-2.
Bach, Johann Sebastian. Brandenburg Concertos, 1-6. Academy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood. Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre, 1985, CD 414-187-2.
30Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia Records, 1959, reissued as Sony Entertainment CD CK-64935.
Davis, Miles. Kind of Blue. Columbia Records, 1959. Reissued as Sony Entertainment CD CK-64935.
Visual Materials (Art, Photographs, Cartoons, etc.): List the name of the artist, title of work, medium, date, and institution or publication wherein the work appears. Individual pieces of art and illustrations are not included in formal bibliographies.
22Anonymous, "The Old Plantation," watercolor, ca. 1800, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Va.
44Matthew Somerville Morgan, "The Red Flag in New York-Riotous Communist Workingmen Driven from Tompkins Square by Mounted Police, Tuesday, January 13th, 1874," engraving, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, January 31, 1874.
Interviews and Personal Correspondence: Provide the interviewed person's name followed by interviewer's name, medium (e.g., cassette, video recording, letter, or telephone conversation), and the place and date of the interview.
24James Farmer, interview by author, October 21, 1992, tape recording, Fredericksburg, Va.
Farmer, James. Interview by author, October 21, 1992, Tape recording, Fredericksburg, Va.
These other handouts on documentation are available from the History Writing Resources Center or as html files: