Citing Primary Sources

Researchers must cite accurately and completely the location and description of manuscript and archival materials referred to or quoted in works (published or unpublished). The examples below provide general guidance on citing archival materials, and you are encouraged to consult with your professor or publisher for specific directions.

 

For information on citing published materials and other formats, please consult the Citation Style Guides page on the Colgate University Libraries website.

 

Unpublished item with no formal title

Chicago - Note format

Description of the item, date*, collection identifier, collection title, name of repository.

 

Examples:

William M. White to L. York, 1864 February 7, M2027, York family papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries.

 

Meeting minutes of the Board of Trustees, 1960 June 11, A1001, Colgate University Board of Trustees records, Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries.

 

Chicago - Bibliography format

Collection title. Name of repository.

 

Example:

York Family Papers. Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries.

 

MLA

Author/creator (if known). Description of item. Date. Collection identifier. Collection title. Name of repository.

 

Example:

Case, Everett Needham. Inaugural address of President Case. 24 September 1942. A1015. Everett Needham Case papers. Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries.

 

Photograph

Chicago - Note format

Photographer, title or description of image, date, collection identifier, collection title, name of repository.

 

Example:

Stone, Edward H., southeast side of the James B. Colgate Library building, circa 1900, M2010, Edward H. Stone photograph collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries.

 

MLA

Photographer. Title or description of image. Date. Collection identifier. Collection title. Name of repository.

 

Example:

Stone, Edward H. Southeast side of the James B. Colgate Library building. Circa 1900. M2010. Edward H. Stone photograph collection. Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries.

 

Digitized version of an item

To cite a digitized version of an item, add a reference URL to the end of the citation.

Example:

Table of heights and weights with chest measurements, undated, A1057, Colgate University World War II records, Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries. https://digitalcollections.colgate.edu/object/islandora890 (accessed January 25, 2019).

 

Citing undated items

If an item does not have a date, you may describe it using any date estimation provided in the item description or “undated” if there is no estimate.