Citing Archival Materials

The primary purpose of a citation is to document your sources well enough so that you (and others) can retrieve them at a later date. Because archival materials are unique and rarely cataloged at the item level, special care is needed in citing records; otherwise, archives staff may not be able to locate the item again. When you are at the archives, note down information from the finding aid and from labels on the folder and box, even if not all the information is required in the citation itself.

The particular style you use for footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, dates, page and volume numbers, punctuation, and capitalization will depend on the style manual (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style or Modern Language Association). We are more concerned that all the needed elements are included in the citation. Generally, the more information you include, the better. Work from the specific to the general, the item to the collection, with as many steps in between as given.

General Citation Formats

Manuscripts
[item], [folder title], [series title (if any)], [collection name], [accession or manuscript number], [name of curatorial unit*], Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Photograph Captions
[description of image], [identification number or name], [name of curatorial unit*], Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

*The curatorial units are: Southern Labor Archives; Popular Music and Culture Collection; University Archives; Georgia Government Documentation Project; Social Change Collection; Rare Book Collection; Archives for Research on Women and Gender; Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women’s Movement Archives; Lucy Hargrett Draper U.S. Equal Rights Amendment (1921-1982) Research Collection.

Examples of Citations

Note Forms

Manuscripts
Correspondence with series title:
David A. Trick to Richard L. Failor, 15 June 1979, Series IV: Director’s Files, Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization Collection, L1986-45, Southern Labor Archives, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Correspondence without series title:
Carmen Lucia to Claude Davidson, 6 July 1949, Correspondence, 1936-52, Carmen Lucia Papers, 1920-76. L1976-32, Southern Labor Archives, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Interviews
Ellis Arnall, interview by James F. Cook, 17 March 1986, Ellis Arnall, Georgia Governors Series, Georgia Government Documentation Project, Box A-1, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Bibliographic Forms

Manuscripts
Lucia, Carmen. Papers, 1920-76. L1976-32, Southern Labor Archives, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization Collection, L1986-45, Southern Labor Archives, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Interviews
Arnall, Ellis. Interview by James F. Cook, 17 March 1986, Ellis Arnall, Georgia Governors Series, Box A-1, Georgia Government Documentation Project, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Photograph Captions
Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting at the home of Jean Bach, New York City, 1971, M1981-1/564, Johnny Mercer Papers, Popular Music and Culture Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

120 Decatur Street looking west towards Collins Street, ca.1949, LBGPNS03-203a, Lane Brothers Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Web Site
Fishman, M., Causey, V., Woodrum, R., (2001). Work ‘n’ Progress: Stories in Southern Labor – The Southern Textile Industry. Retrieved April 2, 2003, from Georgia State University, Southern Labor Archives Web site: http://www.library.gsu.edu/spcoll/Labor/work_n_progress/textiles.htm

Publication Procedures

1. We request that citations be written appropriately (see above):

(A) In publications it is preferred that the credit line appear on the same or facing page as the illustration. When possible, each individual item should be credited where it appears.

(B) With media projects (including films, documentaries, and mixed media products), include credit with other sources of materials.

(C) With exhibitions, credit within exhibition area, preferably with each item that is used.

2. The researcher agrees not to reproduce copies as dust jackets, or end papers, or to use in an advertisement or any commercial use of a similar nature, nor to mass reproduce, unless specifically authorized by Special Collections and Archives.

3. Special Collections and Archives requests one complimentary copy of the work in which the copies appear.