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Citing Archives: Documents

Using an item from the archives?

A credit line must be given for the publication, exhibition, presentation, or use of reproductions from the NBCA. Credit line to be written in the manner as follows:

Northern BC Archives, UNBC Accession No. ______.

Other Archival Citation Guides

Library and Archives Canada: How to Cite Archival Sources

If you are not required to use a specific citation style guide, we recommend using the How to Cite Archival Sources guide by Library and Archives Canada to cite archival sources.

View their guidelines and examples here: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services-public/access-documents/Pages/archival-sources.aspx

Citing Archival Documents

Chicago Style

There is no set standard for citing archival materials in Chicago Style and some examples are not applicable to Canadian archives due to the differences in Canadian and American archiving. Some essential elements are:

Author (if known, see sample footnote 2), Title (not in quotes unless there is an obvious recognizable title, see sample footnote 2), Reference Code, Collection Title, Archive, Parent Institution (if applicable), City, Provence/State (location information not required if internationally known or in the institution name).

Examples for Textual Items and Files

Notes:

  1. Richard Corless Funeral Ledger, 18 May 1916-9 July 1951, 2007.23.1.1, Richard Corless Funeral Ledger, Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/richard-corless-funeral-ledger-2.
  2. Alfred Hugh Phipps, "A. H. Phipps Memoirs of Charles E. Bedaux Sub-Artic Expedition 1934," 1934, [ca. 1964], 2004.1.1.3.2, Phipps-Mackenzie Collection, Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/2004-1-1-3-2.
  3. Pierre E. Trudeau, Prime Minister - Ephemera, 1971-1998, 2009.6.3.52, The Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds, Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.
  4. Political Speeches, 1992, 2009.6.3.38, The Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds.
    *Note the shorter citation for two items from the same collection in footnotes 3 and 4.

Bibliography entries for the above footnotes:

Phipps, Alfred Hugh. "A. H. Phipps Memoirs of Charles E. Bedaux Sub-Artic Expedition 1934." 1934, [ca. 1964]. 2004.1.1.3.2. Phipps-Mackenzie Collection. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC. https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/2004-1-1-3-2.

Richard Corless Funeral Ledger. 18 May 1916-9 July 1951. 2007.23.1.1. Richard Corless Funeral Ledger. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC. https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/richard-corless-funeral-ledger-2.

The Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds, 2009.6. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

*Specific items are not included in a bibliography unless only one item from a collection is cited.

Author-Date Bibliography entry:

In-text: 

Single item:
Alfred Hugh Phipps accompanied Beduax on his Sub-Arctic Expedition in 1934, but it is believed he wrote his memoirs of the expedition some 30 years after the fact (Phipps, 2004.1.1.3.2).

Multiple references from a single collection:
Iona Capangnolo explored renewable energy options between 1975 and 1978 (Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds, 2009.6.13.12.12) while also pursuing other energy options (2009.6.13.12.06-11) such as...

Reference list:

Phipps, Alfred Hugh. 1934, [ca. 1964]. "A. H. Phipps Memoirs of Charles E. Bedaux Sub-Artic Expedition 1934." 2004.1.1.3.2. Phipps-Mackenzie Collection. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC. https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/2004-1-1-3-2.

The Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds, 2009.6. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

Date Note: "When citing manuscript collections in author-date format, it is unnecessary to use n.d. (no date) in place of the date. Dates of individual items should be mentioned in the text, when applicable." (CMOS, 2017, 15.54)

Digital Items

Digital archival items are cited exactly the same way as physical items, with the addition of the URL at the end of the citation.

For more guidance/examples, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style sections 14.221-14.231 on Manuscript Collections.

APA

In-text citations:

Enclose the author's surname and date in brackets (and/or the title if the author is unknown or you are citing multiple works by that author with the same date).

(Author, date)

Bibliography entries:

General format: Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of material. [Description of material]. Name of Collection (Identification number, box #, file# or name, etc.). Name and location of repository.

Examples:

Letter:

McKinnon, Barry. (1992, March 27). [Letter to Cathy]. Northern BC Archives (2000.6.01.234). University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

In-text: (McKinnon, 1992)

Collection of letters:

McCormick, John. (1869). John McCormick Collection (2012.3). Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

In-text citations of specific letters:

(McCormick, John, 1869, McCormick to James, December 11, 1869)

(McCormick, John, 1869, McCormick to James, January 31, 1869)

Unpublished papers:

Aleza Lake Research Forest. (1991). Aleza Lake Research Forest PSP Data. Aleza Lake Research Forest fonds (2007.1.45.04.3). Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

Uncertain date:

Ainley, Marianne. [ca. 2001]. Australian women scientists. Marianne (Marika) Ainley fonds (2002.14.1.09.082). Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

For more guidance/examples, refer to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association section 7.10 on Archival Documents and Collections.

MLA

In-text citations:

Give enough information to identify the source in the works-cited. Usually the author’s surname is sufficient, and/or title if citing multiple works by the same author, or an item with no known author.

Works-Cited List:

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook provides one example for using archival reference codes but conflates manuscripts and archives, which are not the same in Canada. The contextual information that archives preserve - in the form of the fonds and reference code - is essential for object identification yet appears at the end of the citation as though it is of least priority.

This one example can be used for all formats, with the option of adding a medium/format element.

Examples:

‚ÄčCollison, W.H. 1870 Journal. 1870, Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC. Archdeacon W. H. Collison fonds 2009.7.2.7. https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/journal-of-w-h-collison. Accessed 16 April 2019.

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