Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Citing Sources

As a genealogist, you come to learn that the evidence you find to prove a relationship will not always be a nice, simple document that is, quite frankly, pretty simple to cite.  You may end up needing to cite something like this:

To what am I referring?  This beautiful family quilt.  Embroidered on one side is a remark that this quilt is a 3-generation quilt with hand-made blocks pieced by my husband's great-grandmother, blocks sewn together by his grandmother, and sewn all together by my his mother.  What a treasure!  Not just because it's a beautiful family heirloom, but because it is a piece of evidence linking three generations!  Suddenly those easy-to-follow citation instructions with author, publisher, publication date, etc. don't seem so applicable.

Enter Elizabeth Shown Mills, the woman responsible for creating the current genealogical citation standards.  The citation world of the genealogist was made easier with her first book, Evidence: Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian and continues with the current Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace.  I have never tried to cite this before, so I'm going to pull out my handy citation book and see what I can do.

Last Name, Christine. Quilt. ca. 2007. Privately held by Meg Last Name, [address,] Town, State. 2010.

Wow, that's it!  I found out how to cite this really quickly.  It's from page 105, Quick Check Model PRIVATE HOLDINGS: ARTIFACT.

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