Recent comments

  • Reply to: Is it State-Level or Records Removed to State Archives?   2 days 1 hour ago

    Spence, a "state-level" record is one that is created by an agency at the state-level of governance. The "state archives" in the various states can be the repository for older records of agencies at both the state-level and local-level (county or town).  I am not personally experienced with ordering New York marriage records through the State Archives. However, a perusal of its website's discussion of records tell us:

    "Researchers can determine if the New York State Department of Health (DOH) holds vital records of interest by using the vital records microfiche index.   ...

    Researchers seeking copies of actual certificates may complete an application in the Research Room [of the State Archives], attach required fee, and the Archives will forward it to DOH for processing."

    Drilling down at the website, you can find other discussions that will help you better understand the record you are using.

    Meanwhile, the answer to your specific question is that the record supplied to you should be the record created by the state agency (the DOH).  It would have been created from whatever data the county or city submitted to it, but if the Archives obtained it from the DOH, it should be the state-level version of the original local registration. Across time and place, the different versions are often not the same—hence our need to identify which version we are using.


  • Reply to: A whole newspaper?   6 days 2 hours ago

    Caliadria wrote:

    "Ideally, I'd like to cite the whole as a privately-held collection ... but how can I format this?"

    Caladria, that is exactly how you should cite it. If you're citing original issues that you hold—issue that may or may not be in any public library or archive, depending upon their rarity—your citation needs to say where those originals are held. 

    As for how to do that, think about what the essential elements are for (a) a newspaper citation; and (b) artifacts privately held.


    A basic newspaper citation has four elements (QuickCheck Model: Newsletter Articles, Print Editions):

    "Title of Article," Title of Newspaper (date of newspaper), page/column.

    Of these, the first and the last don't apply in your case, so you're left with 

    Title of Newspaper (range of years); ....


    Then for your second layer, you plug in the data reporting where this private collection of papers is held. For this, as you suggest, you'd use one of the models from chapter 3. The QuickCheck Model for "Private Holdings: Artifact" (p. 105) works fine with no alterations. That leaves you with

    Title of Newspaper (range of years); privately held by ______ [address for private use], City, State, year.


  • Reply to: Citing a manuscript marriage register and microfilm ID question--Nova Scotia Archives   1 week 6 days ago

    snewnow, what a wonderful research trip that must have been!  

    With regard to your first four questions:

    1. The name of the church at the time of the original marriage records creation is not what it was later or now

    This can be handled easily. In the citation you created, after the name of the original church, just use editorial brackets and say [now St. James United Church of Canada].  Or, given that you've added a discussion at the end of the citation, you could add another sentence there to note the change of the church's identity.

    2. This manuscript is not easily located in the archives unless you have its call number (I found it because some kind soul had transcribed it online and listed its call number--it is not identified as belonging to this church in any of the paper or electronic catalogs/finding aids in NSA)

    Ah, yes. That’s perzactly why, with records in archives, we have long citations that identify the file, the collection, the series, and the record group.

    3. The numbering scheme used when originally accessioned at NSA is not the one used now (but you HAVE to use this number on a request slip or they won't find it)

    Yes, we definitely need to cite the current archival identification, rather than one from the past that has been abandoned.

    4. NSA does not have an online catalog available outside the repository.

    Which is why it’s very good that you took care to make your notes as precise as possible.

    After your “stab at the citation,” which is a very good stab, you asked, “Should I include the record identification no. (MG 4 no. 35) in the source list.  Yes. This would be useful.

    You also ask “Is it OK that MG appears in two places”? 

    Well, no one will stab you back for doing so, but it is redundant. It’s also confusing when placed where you have the first reference to it.  You are citing p. 2, entry 2 of the original book.  Whatever call  number the archives assigns to it is not part of the ID of the original register. That archival ID belongs in the part of the citation in which you iID the archives.

    Normally, when citing an old manuscript register, we cite the elements in this order:

    Author, “Title of Manuscript Register [with dates],” page and/or entry numbers and specific data;  Collection, Series, Record Group, etc; Name of Archive, City, State/Province.

    The QuicKCheck Model on p. 312 of EE3r “Church Books: Named Volume Archives Off-Site,” follows that pattern.

    In your case, the name of the author is embedded into the title of the register, so the author field can be skipped. The dates are also embedded.  If we eliminate the redundancy and clarify what "MG 4 no. 35" represents, we'd end up with this:

            1.  “Record of Marriages performed by Rev. A. L. Wyllie, minister of the Presbyterian Church at Great Village, Colchester County, N. S., between 23 Nov. 1852 and 24 Sep. 1872," p. 2, entry 2, McLellan-Wilson marriage, 31 Jan. 1854; Manuscript Group 4, Church and Cemetery Records, Item 35; Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax.



  • Reply to: Additonal Layer, or new citation   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Raul, the uncertainty you are feeling about "linking language" is happening because you're trying to create a link between two separate things that should not be linked.

    Going back to your original effort, you recognized that you had used two different sources and you put them in different sentences. That instinct of yours was squarely on target. You had two different sources to cite. They can both be cited in the same reference note, but not in the same sentence.

    Back in our school days, we were told that we could put multiple sources in the same citation sentence and use a semicolon to separate them. That worked fine then, because we were citing basic books and articles—simple stuff that had no internal semicolons to create confusion. However, when we cite complex sources that do have internal semicolons (like documents in an archive or citations to databases that also have to report what the database is citing) we do not put multiple sources in that one sentence. 

    Using the details you cite in your last message, let's separate it all into its two parts. The citation to your first sources, the database, is in black (with occasional tweaking in red). The citation to your second source, the image you received by email, is in blue.

    "Texas, Select County Marriage Records, 1837-2015," database,  Ancestry (; accessed 26 Sep. 2017), entry for marriage of Guadelupe [Guadalupe] Gonzales and Raquel Tarrias [Farias]9 Oct. 1926 (license date 14 Oct. 1926), document number 19260542; citing Cameron County, Texas Marriage Records, Cameron County Clerk's office, Brownsville, Texas. Also, Erika de la Torre, Vital Statistics Supervisor, Cameron County Clerk's office, Brownsville, TX [(E-ADDRESS) FOR PRIVATE USE,] to Gonzales Jr, Raul, 27 Sept. 2017; privately held by Raul.


  • Reply to: Additonal Layer, or new citation   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you for your response.  I consulted the chapter and section you referenced, plus the Quick check model.  I struggled a bit with the linking language, but came up with the citation below.  I get concerned where to get "wordy" in a citation.  

    "Texas, Select County Marriage Records, 1837-2015," database,  Ancestry (; accessed 26 Sep 2017) referencing marriage of Guadelupe [Guadalupe] Gonzales and Raquel Tarrias [Farias] on 9 Oct 1926 licensed date 14 Oct 1926, document number 19260542; citing Cameron County, Texas Marriage Records, Cameron County Clerk's office, Brownsville, Texas; image provided by Erika de la Torre, Vital Statistics Supervisor, Cameron County Clerk's office, Brownsville, TX [(E-ADDRESS) FOR PRIVATE USE,] to Gonzales Jr, Raul, e-mail with image copy when above information provided, 27 Sep 2017, privately held by Raul. Thank you,Raul