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Citing Archives: Video

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:

Citing Archival Videos

Chicago Style


There are no guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style for citing unpublished and archival video footage. Their general guidelines for citing audiovisual and other types of multimedia content include the following elements where applicable:

  1. The name of the composer, writer, performer, or other person primarily responsible for the content. Include designations such as vocalist, conductor, or director as appropriate. [Only if known. This information will not be applicable for most archival videos]
  2. The title of the work, in italics or quotation marks, as applicable [for unpublished archival content, do not use italics or quotations for title information unless used in the title information in the finding aid]
  3. Information about the work, including the names of additional contributors and the date and location of the recording, production, or performance. 
  4. Information about the publisher, including date of publication. [For unpublished archival content, use the name and location of the repository in place of publisher and publishing location]
  5. Information about the medium or format (e.g., LP, DVD, MP3, AVI). Supplementary information, such as the number of discs in an album and the duration of the recording, as applicable, may also be given. [See physical description in finding aid for this information]
  6. Any additional information that might be relevant to the citation.
  7. For sources consulted online, a URL. (CMOS, 2017, 14.261)


  1. Fly-Fishing and Footage of Caribou Herd, April 1963, 2006.25.1.18, 1 film reel (56 sec.) : acetate (Kodachrome), original, col., single-perforated, mute ; 16 mm, Al Elsey Moving Images Collection, Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.
  2. Black Bear on River Bank, May 1963, 2006.25.1.43, 1 film reel (1 min., 3 sec.) : acetate (Kodachrome), original, col., double-perforated, mute ; 16 mm, Al Elsey Moving Images Collection.
    *Note the shorter citation for two items from the same collection.

Bibliography entry for the above footnotes:

Al Elsey Moving Images Collection, 2006.25. 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: This footage of a Black bear on a river bank...(Al Elsey Moving Images Collection, 2006.25.1.43).

Reference list:

Al Elsey Moving Images Collection, 2006.25. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC.

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.


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)

Reference list:

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.


Elsey, A. (1964, February). Bighorn Sheep on Rocks. [Film reel]. Al Elsey Moving Images Collection (2006.25.1.68), Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George.

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


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.


Elsey, Al. Trip into Mountains. October 1963. Northern BC Archives, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George. Al Elsey Moving Images Collection 2006.25.1.44. Film reel.

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