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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.

In-Text Citations

In MLA style in-text citations appear in the text of the paper enclosed in parentheses, and should include enough information to point to a specific source in the works cited list. The MLA Handbook does not provide any examples of in-text citations for archival material to supplement that general guideline.

In-Text Citations: Example 1

Letter from John to William SellJohn Sell's letter to his brother

The letter displayed to the right is from the John M. Sell Civil War CollectionJohn Sell wrote numerous letters to his brother Willie while serving in the Civil War. If you cite more than one you might include the date of each to differentiate it from the others:

(John Sell to William Sell, 3 November 1861)

If you cited only one letter from the collection, you might omit the date:

(John Sell to William Sell)

See the MLA Handbook pages 54-58 for more information.

In-Text Citations: Example 2

Letter from William Edmont to Sarah SellWilliam H. Edmont's letter to John's sister

The letter displayed to the right is from the John M. Sell Civil War Collection. There is only one letter in the collection from William H. Edmont to John's sister, Sarah Sell. As a result, the letter's date is not needed to differentiate it from other letters in the collection. Additionally, the letter's sender and receiver have different last names, so you might cite it as:

(Edmont to Sell)

See the MLA Handbook pages 54-58 for more information.

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