Citing an image of a newpaper article, sent to me by e-mail.

I thought citing this source would be easy, that is until I started to work on it; I seem to be going around in circles!

I have the image of the article, but I do not have the digital source where it was found. I have the name of the newspaper from which the image was taken,  when the article was published, and where it was located in the newspaper. It seems to me that I should include information re the newspaper containing the article, name of data base of the online provider (which I do not know), and the person that sent the e-mail to me. But in which order? 

My attempt: (Canadian punctuation)

"Buffalo Evening News", Buffalo, New York, May 18, 1910, p.25, "Reception at Cedar Street Baptist Church", image supplied by e-mail to Lo Wilson from B.Norton, "Reception at Cedar Street Baptist Church".

I await your constructive criticism,






Submitted byEEon Fri, 10/04/2019 - 12:18

Lo, in a nutshell you have two issues:

  1. how to cite a newspaper item
  2. how to identify provenance


If you go first to EE's index and look up "newspapers," you'll find an entry for “basic format.” There on pp. 807-8 (EE 14.22) you'll find a discussion and three models. Notice in all three models that

  • the title of the newspaper is italicized.
  • the title of the article within the newspaper is in quotation marks.

This follows a basic rule for citing all published works.

  • When the publication is a standalone pub—a book, a journal, a magazine, a newspaper, a CD, a roll of microfilm, a map that's published alone rather than part of a bound atlas—then the title goes in italics.
  • When the title is a named part of the bigger item—as with chapters in a book; or articles in a newspaper, magazine, or journal—the title goes in quotation marks.

If you’ve not had time yet to study the basics in Chapters 1 and 2, you will find this discussed—with the reasons why it matters—under  2.60: Capitalization, Publication Titles.

You also wonder about the order of elements within your citation. The examples at 14.22, illustrate that order:

“Title of Article,” Name of Newspaper, date, page, column.

Given that you did not cite the column number, I’m assuming that your provider sent you just the isolated image, without identifying the column number.

There’s another point to note in the examples at 14.22, one that will eliminate redundancy within your citation.  Your draft citation states:

“Buffalo Evening News,” Buffalo, New York …

The longstanding convention for citing newspapers whose title includes a city or town is to add the state in parentheses, right after the city name, rather than repeating the location in a separate field/

All these points considered, the part of your citation that identifies the clipped item (layer 1) would be this:

“Reception at Cedar Street Baptist Church,” Buffalo (New York) Evening News, 18 May 1910, p. 25; …


This leaves the issue of how to identify provenance. That issue would be addressed in the second layer of your citation. If you look up the term “provenance” in the index, it will point you to EE 7.18–19  There you’ll find several examples of how to cite material sent to us by other individuals. The examples demonstrate three common situations:

  • an image copy that contains no documentation
  • an image copy that is fully or partially documented
  • an image copy that is certified by an official

In your case, you have partial documentation. Therefore, layer 2 of your citation would look like this:

      … ; image copy supplied by B. Norton, [LOCATION, DATE], without identification of column number.

In your draft, you cite an email from Norton, but without date or specific info to identify “B. Norton.” If Norton’s email contained valuable information that you are also including in your research notes, then it would be appropriate to cite the email, using the fuller details demonstrated at 3.42 "E-mail and instant messages."  If there is nothing essential in the email that's not in the clipping itself, then there’s no need to cite email. You need only the basic identification of (1) who/where the photocopy came from, (2) the date, and (3) whatever observation you have to make about completeness or authenticity.  

Combining both layers of the citation produces this:

       1. “Reception at Cedar Street Baptist Church,” Buffalo (New York) Evening News, 18 May 1910, p. 25; image copy supplied by B. Norton, [LOCATION, DATE], without identification of column number.

You’ll note also that the two layers of the citation (each of which address a different issue) are separated by a semi-colon.


Submitted byLoon Fri, 10/04/2019 - 19:52

Dear EE,

Thank you so much for your logical, easy to understand explanation. The process of using different examples in the text is going to help me in crafting other citations. Receiving the finished citation was the "icing on the cake".