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Citing Archival Materials

This guide provides an overview to citing archival materials in some of the most frequently used citation styles, including Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and APA.

Note Form

See sections 14.222 and 14.229

You can use footnotes or endnotes in Chicago, both of which are numbered consecutively. Footnotes appear at the bottom of each page while endnotes appear at the end of your paper. In a Chicago-style note, the title of an individual item should appear first in your citation. If an items does not have a clear title, you may have to make one up, which is permitted for archival materials. Other pieces of information that could be included in the note are the item's creation date; the box and folder you found it in; the name of the collection it is a part of; and the name of the library, archives, or other institution that owns the collection.

Note Form: Example 1

William Sager Photograph

Front and back of photo from the Sager Collection
 

The photograph of the Japanese sentry at right is from the William H. Sager China Marines Photograph Collection. In a Chicago-style note, you might cite it as follows:

1. Photograph, "Japanese Sentry, Hankow," [ca. 1945], Box 1, Folder 1, William H. Sager China Marines Photograph Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge.

See the Chicago Manual of Style, section 14.229, for more examples of footnotes or endnotes.

Note Form: Example 2

Letter from John to William SellJohn Sell Letter

The letter at right is from the John M. Sell Civil War Collection. In a Chicago-style note, you might cite it as follows:

2. John M. Sell to William Sell, 3 November 1861, Box 1, Folder 3, John M. Sell Civil War Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge.

See the Chicago Manual of Style, section 14.229, for more examples of footnotes or endnotes.

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