Notes from Deanna Spingola's Presentation
PIP Chapter 1
October 15, 2003
(printed with permission from Deanna Spingola)
Topic: Sources, Citations and Organization
I. Handout: A Cite for Sore Eyes: Citing Electronic Sources by Mark Howels
a. Two reasons to cite our sources
i. For ourselves
1. Save us from performing redundant research
2. Assist us in considering additional avenues of research
ii. For others
1. Assist in judging accuracy of our research
2. Assist in researcher to perform substantiation (reviewing the records themselves.)
b. Citing Electronic Sources – references the book "Evidence! Citation & Analysis of the Family Historian" by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
i. Suggestions for referencing Web Pages - consider impermanence of websites
1. Note date of viewing of website
2. Include name of organization/individual who published site to aid in finding site again in case the web address changes.
ii. Suggestions for referencing Electronic Mail - consider impermanence of email addresses
1. Obtain and record postal address of author of email
iii. Suggestions for referencing Email Lists – record date the message was sent to the list
iv. Referencing CD ROMs
1. Two types of CD ROMs
a. CDs produced from original records
b. CDs produced from prior publications
2. Information to cite should include the name of the CD as well as information about the publication produced on the CD.
II. Source Citations for Civil Vital Records
a. Minimum of information to cite:
i. Type of record and name of individual
ii. File or certificate number (or book and page where it is found)
iii. Name and location of office where certificate is filed (or repository where copy was found)
III. Extracts, Abstracts & Copies
a. When to make photocopies
i. Multiple page documents that would be difficult and time consuming to extract
ii. Documents with actual signatures as this may help differentiate between records of two individuals with the same name.
iii. Documents difficult to read or words that we don't understand
iv. Documents that provide vital birth, marriage or death information.
b. Photocopy necessities
i. Clip or staple multiple pages at once
ii. Large copies should be labeled as top, bottom, etc or taped at once
iii. Place resource citation on every page (use address labels)
c. An Abstract is a summary of important data from a record
d. An Extract is a word for word copy of selected text from a record (use quotation marks)
e. A Transcription is a word for word copy of the entire document.
i. Should be exact using same abbreviations and superscripts used in the record (Example: Don't assume "Wm" = William)
IV. Filing System – Hard Copies
a. Deanna uses hanging file folders but a system may be designed in the same manner for scanned documents and photos
b. Make a file for each family name and subdivide into localities if helpful.
V. Note Taking
a. Reliable notes include
i. Citation – all pertinent information to aid in finding the record again-a necessity, not an option
ii. Physical analysis of record – who, what, when, why record was recorded
iii. Abstract or transcription of the record
iv. Content analysis of the record – thoughts on whether or not the record reflects the truth.
b. Note taking tips
i. Read entire document before writing anything down
ii. Include all facts
iii. Duplicate signatures if photocopying is not an option
iv. Copy dates exactly as they are written on the record
v. Copy witness signatures in order of appearance on record
vi. Copy abbreviations as written, do not elongate them as your translation may be incorrect
vii. Mark unclear letters by underlining followed by a question mark in parenthesis.
viii. Number your pages
ix. Write on just one side of the paper
x. Use the same size paper for all notes.
c. Preparation for a Repository visit
i. Bring list of spelling variations for surnames to search
ii. Alphabetized list of all names to search
iii. Create and maintain a bibliography or research log of resources
iv. Create a list of goals
v. Bring notepaper or extract forms tailored to the record format you will be searching
vi. Handle resources with care and respect
vii. Be prepared with paper, sharp pencils, paper clips, tape, stapler, etc.
viii. Lighten your load – many repositories are cramped
ix. Obey rules of the repository and be courteous to staff
x. Share the machines if there is a shortage.
VI. Other tips
a. Try to use a genealogy program that allows you not only to record family information but also to:
i. Record your sources
ii. Print a source report
iii. Print a repository report detailing resources viewed at each repository
iv. Print a to-do list by individual which will include reference to the repository where you can find the information, if known.
© PIP Chapter 1, 2003 ~ Webmaster: LPRoots@yahoo.com ~ page last updated on Wednesday, January 24, 2007