Complex citation issue

 
 
 
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agilchrest
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Complex citation issue

Hello,

I have digitally created a "collage" of a number of documents and photographs. I am trying to write a citation for the image. This is what I have come up with. Any nits would be appreciated. My plan is to include all the information below in the discription field on an Ancestry tree.

Thank you,

Ann C Gilchrest

 

Ann C Gilchrest, digital collage, “Lac qui Parle County Pioneers,” 2018; Original file in possession of Ann C Gilchrest, Sioux  Falls, 2018. This collage was created using original documents from microfilm scans, copies of a plat map & a digital image of the original survey of Cerro Gordo Township, Lac qui Parle, Minnesota. The photographs of Haagen & Sigri are extractions from group photographs. All elements have been digital enhanced. Color and textures have been added.

Documents included:

1. Bureau of Land Management, Records Improvement [U.S. Tract Books], microfilm, 1,265 rolls (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, 1957), Minnesota roll 36, vol. 95, p. 181, Township 118N, Range 43W, FHL microfilm 1445664. Transcription of patent book done by Ann C Gilchrest.

2. Atlas and Farmers’ Directory of Lac qui Parle Co. Minnesota, (St. Paul, Minnesota: Webb Publishing Co., 1913), p. 19 Cerro Gordo. The year “1913” was added to the original map & the page number was removed.

3. Sigri Johnson (Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota), homestead patent no. 998, patent image & original survey 25 January 1866; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch : accessed 1 January 2018).’

4. Hogen Johnson (Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota), homestead patent no. 998, patent image; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch : accessed 1 January 2018).

5. Ann C Gilchrest “Haagen,” extracted photograph; “Public Member Trees,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 December 2017), “Johnson Torstenson Quall Ulstad Tree,” Haagen J Moen, gallery, “IMG_0003 f,” submitted 8 December 2011 by MichaelScott1972, origin not stated.

6. Ann C Gilchrest “Sigri,” extracted photograph; “Public Member Trees,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 December 2017), “Johnson Torstenson Quall Ulstad Tree,” Haagen J Moen, gallery, “Mr. and Mrs. Hoagen Moen Grandchildren June 1916” submitted 8 December 2011 by MichaelScott1972, origin not stated. Sigri was extracted and her name removed from the left side of her face. 

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rraymond
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Ann,

Wow! That is an incredible work of art. I want you around when I finally get to publishing my family history book.

---Robert

agilchrest
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Thank you Robert. 

EE
EE's picture

Ann, your thoroughness is an example for all. (But, of course, we've come to expect that of you.)  There are wee nits we might pick here and there, such as not putting a comma before an open parentheses as in note 2, but there’s a major issue with the first citation—i.e.:

1. Bureau of Land Management, Records Improvement [U.S. Tract Books], microfilm, 1,265 rolls (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, 1957), Minnesota roll 36, vol. 95, p. 181, Township 118N, Range 43W, FHL microfilm 1445664. Transcription of patent book done by Ann C Gilchrest.

Problems:

  1. You’ve cited this set of film as a publication; but it’s published film, it’s preservation film. Therefore the title of the film is not italicized.  When we see an italicized title for an item, we expect to be able to find it, under that exact title, in one of the major catalogs for published materials. We would not find this as written.   (As an aside, yes, FHL’s basic form for cataloging everything does carry a field generically labeled “publication” in which it  puts all details about where the material was produced. See the attached image below. But FHL generically uses that term “publication” for everything from unpublished courthouse records to the unpublished archives of Spanish West Florida in Baton Rouge, Louisiana—in the same way that it generically uses the term “author” for editors, compilers, artists, speakers, and everybody else who creates something being cataloged. In this case, the catalog description also tells us that the series is “manuscript” material.)
  2. The title or ID of this unpublished, preservation film is not “Records Improvement.”  That’s the section or departmental name of the BLM division that created the film.)  This set of records is known simply as BLM “tract books.”
  3. To be technical, the registers have “folio” numbers, rather than “page” numbers, with the folio number extending across two facing pages.
  4. Because this is unpublished government-agency manuscript material, we have to cite it as unpublished manuscript material. If we’re new to this set of records, we can learn the “organization” of the records by studying the cataloging description for each microfilm roll. Each roll typically covers several volumes of records, and those volumes are organized according in one of two patterns:
  • STATE > LAND OFFICE PLACE NAME > Vol. No.  (In some states, there are multiple registers carrying the same volume number, because each land office did its own individual numbering. Therefore, we have to include the Land Office ID.)
  • STATE > Vol. No. (You are lucky. Minnesota is one of the states in which all registers are numbered sequentially state-wide. So, you don’t have to include the land office ID.)

Understanding this organization, of course, helps us construct a citation.

All things considered, a citation to material from this BLM preservation film, reproduced and renumbered by FHL, would end up looking like this:

U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Tract Books; Minnesota, vol. 95, folio 181, for Township 118N, Range 43W [add individual person’s entry, unless you want to generically reference the whole township]; BLM microfilm roll 36 of 1265 rolls; viewed as Family History Library microfilm 1445664.

Colors define each of three layers. Layer 1 identifies the original books. Layer 2 identifies the BLM film. Layer 3 identifies the FHL reproduction that you actually used and the catalog number of that film.

As long as we’re up to knee-deep into analyzing how to cite this source, I might as well go all the way to the deep end of the citation pool. You didn’t mention it, but others who go to FHL to follow your example will notice that this series has now been digitized by FHL.  Here’s a Reference Note citation to the digitized version.

“United States Bureau of Land Management, Tract Books, 1800–c. 1955,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/007113511?i=184&cc=2074276), > Minnesota > Vol. 95 > image 185 of 247; imaged from U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Tract Books; Minnesota, vol. 95, folio 181, for Township 118N, Range 43W [add individual person’s entry by section and parcel], BLM microfilm 36 of 1265 rolls; previously reproduced on Family History Library microfilm 1445664

Our readers will note, here, that our emphasis (Layer 1) is on the FS database, with a citation of the path that leads us to the exact image. Layer 2 then identifies the original record and film. Layer 3 (which some researchers likely will prefer to omit) identifies the FHL microfilm from which the image was made.

The Editor

agilchrest
agilchrest's picture

Thank you! I wasn't sure which way to go with the Tract Books. It now makes sense to me.

Diving to the bottom of the sea, I am wondering if I should differentiate between viewing the microfilm (not the digatized version) using a computer at the library & making a digital scan verses viewing the microfilm on a traditional reader? With the computer you can make adjustments to the image that can't be done on a traditional reader. I suppose soon this will not be relavent as traditional readers are disapearing.:)

Ann

EE
EE's picture

Ann, if you were using manuscript volumes of this type at a courthouse, would you feel the need for your citation to state whether you viewed the volume conveniently on a chest-depth counter in the clerk's office or whether you had no counter space on which to place the book and were standing on a ledge in a dark corner holding the 15-pound book you had just retrieved from the top shelf of a 10-foot-high closet, while trying to take your notes? 

Generally, we note things like this only if we feel it has a detrimental effect on our research or the legibility of the information we retrieved.

The Editor