Sigh. I've been going through my tree and rewriting citations and reevaluting sources for the last year and a half. The more citations I write, the more questions I ask myself. I'm chasing rabbits through their warrens.
With regard to newspaper obituaries obtained from digital images of the newspapers online (like Google Newspaper Archive, NewspaperArchives.com or Newspapers.com), I have really begun to question my original grasp of source and information evalution. So, here goes...
In my opinion, the original information of an obituary usually comes from someone who had firsthand knowledge of the individual, especially with regard to date of death, so I mark the INFORMATION as primary.
However, I start confusing myself with regard to evaluation of the SOURCE as original or derivative. I have been listing digital images of newspaper obituaries online as derivative, because I believed that the original source was the family member or friend who wrote it--not the newspaper. (Perhaps, I was confusing information with source evalution.) However, this practice places digital images of newspaper obituaries online in the same category as an obituary index. After reading through QuickLesson 10, I'm now beginning to wonder if I should be marking the digital image of the newspaper obituary as original?
As an example, my sister passed away this summer. I was with her for the hours up until and when she passed. I wrote the obituary on notebook paper and went through it with the funeral home. The funeral home typed it up and then sent it to local papers. When that shows up in a digital image online in the future, I had been looking at myself and other obituary writers as the orignal source (not just evaluating our information as primary). I had been viewing the newspaper as a transcription of what we (as family members) originally wrote. However, I understand that the people who issue birth certificates and death certificates which are original sources, are also not the original providers of the information. So, I read through a previous example you shared that you would not be giving credit to the editors in a publishing house in a citation. So, perhaps since I'm not quoting Pamela as the source, I'm quoting the newspaper--the newspaper IS an original source (not derivative) -- even though their information might not look exactly the same as mine....because it is in the original form in the source I'm citing.
I'm writing to ensure that I'm on the right track? In this regard, would we view a digital image copy of a newspaper obituary online from Google Newspaper Archives (or other newspaper archives) as an original source instead of derivative?
Thanks for feedback as my eyes cross and I begin my journey of splitting hairs...