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How Do I Cite Archival Material Guide

How to cite archival material located in the University of Regina Archives using APA, Chicago, and MLA citation styles.

About Chicago Citations for Archival Material

The Chicago Manual of Style, Seventeenth Edition, from 2017, is the current official source for the Chicago Style.

The Chicago Style has two different ways of citing sources:

  • Notes-Bibliography (or Humanities): uses a raised (superscript) number in the text to indicate a citation. This number matches a numbered footnote at the bottom of the page or an endnote at the end of the chapter or at the end of your work. Sources are listed in a bibliography. This system's guidelines are described in Chapter 14 on the Chicago Style website.
  • Author-Date: an item’s title, date, and collection name are listed in parentheses in the running text as part of the sentence. If the item’s date is mentioned in the text, the date can be omitted from parentheses. Sources are listed in a reference list at the end of your work. This system's guidelines are described in Chapter 15 on the Chicago Style website.

This guide will focus on the Notes-Bibliography format. It's more commonly used in subjects like history and lends itself to citing archival materials from the University of Regina Archives and Special Collections.

Guidelines aimed at archival material are available on the Chicago Style website in sections 14.221-14.231 “Manuscript Collections.” When citing archival material from our archival collections, you may also find the following sections helpful: 14.188-14.204 (magazines, newspapers, reviews), 14.211-14.220 (interviews, pamphlets), 14.235-14.237 (artwork, maps), and 14.263-14.265 (recordings).


When you view digitized archival sources made available online and cite them using the Chicago Style:

  • cite the online source like you would if you had viewed the archival item in its original format
  • list the Reference URL

You do not have to provide the date you accessed the online source. 

General Format for Bibliography & Notes

General format for a Bibliography

Author’s surname, Author’s First Name. Collection name. Archive name, Archive Location. URL or DOI if applicable.

or

Collection name. Archive name, Archive Location. URL or DOI if applicable.

When it comes to archival sources, a Chicago-style bibliography highlights the collection where the items are found, or the author/creator of the cited material. List the sources alphabetically, according to the name of the fonds or the author's/creator's surname and first name. In your bibliography you don't have to list each item separately if in your footnotes/endnotes you cited multiple archival materials from a single collection -- only list details for specific archival materials (for instance, a letter's title and date) if you cited a single item from a collection in your footnotes/endnotes.


General format for Footnotes/Endnotes

Initial citation:

Item's Title or Description, Date (format: day, month, year), Accession Number, Box Number, Folder Number, Collection name, Archive name, Location. URL or DOI if applicable.

The very first time you list an item in a footnote or endnote, include all the information that is needed to find that item -- you are guiding other researchers to the item’s location in the archives! Archival materials are unique, often found in a single location, and are not listed separately in your bibliography if in your footnotes/endnotes you cited multiple items from a single collection.

Subsequent citations:

In subsequent citations for the same archival item, or when referencing other items from the same collection, you can use a shortened name for the item or collection. Just remember to place the shortened form into parentheses at the end of the first footnote/endnote:

Item's Title or Description, Date (format: day, month, year), Accession Number, Box Number, Folder Number, Collection name, Archive name, Location. URL or DOI if applicable (hereafter cited as Item's shortened name/shortened collection or fonds name).

Then use the shortened form in all subsequent footnotes/endnotes that reference the item:

Item's shortened name

Examples

Bibliography

Multiple items from a single fonds:

Department of English. Department of English fonds. University of Regina Archives and Special Collections, Regina, SK, Canada.

or

Department of English fonds. University of Regina Archives and Special Collections, Regina, SK, Canada.

One item from a single fonds:

Department of English. Annual Report, 1970-1971, 2014-54, Box 1, File 1, Department of English fonds. University of Regina Archives and Special Collections, Regina, SK, Canada.

Footnotes/Endnotes

Initial citation:

Annual Report, 1970-1971, 2014-54, Box 1, File 1, Department of English fonds, University of Regina Archives and Special Collections, Regina, SK, Canada (hereafter cited as Annual Report, 1970-1971).

Subsequent citations:

Annual Report, 1970-1971