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In the spirit of transparency and complete disclosure, I have kept you, my readers, and FamilySearch, my employer, informed of anything I think you might consider a conflict of interest. You already know that FamilySearch is my employer, so I am not about to say anything that I think would materially damage my employer, my fellow employees, or good standing. I also accept goods and services from or about FamilySearch or Ancestry.com so that I can provide you information about these two organizations and related topics.
The Evidence! Series
I recently agreed to an invitation from Genealogical Publishing Co. to review Elizabeth Shown Mills' latest addition to the Evidence! series. The Evidence! series began with Mills' 1997 publication of Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. This was followed a decade later by the 885 page Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. The first QuickSheet from Mills was the red-rimmed QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources: Evidence! Style.
Now Mills has added QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images: Evidence! Style. According to the publisher,
Elizabeth Mills’s fabulous new QuickSheet provides rules and models for citing the myriad databases and images you use on Ancestry.com. With this new QuickSheet, you’ll know instantly how to cite databases that include census records, vital records, passenger lists, city directories, and family trees; and how to cite images that include manuscripts, maps, newspapers, and online books and articles. In QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images you’ll find the standards you need for the correct citation of Ancestry sources, as well as help in judging the reliability of those sources.
For most Ancestry.com sources, sample citations are shown here in three styles: Source List Entry, Full Reference Note, and Short Reference Note, each showing you how to deal with author/creator, title, website, URL, date accessed, item type, source of sources, and so forth. Arranged in tabular format under each of these headings, the sample citations are easy to follow and can be applied to your specific needs in citing your sources.
The QuickSheet is a heavily laminated sheet folded to form four pages of standard 8.5 x 11 inch size. After some initial materials, the pages are filled with example citations for Ancestry.com databases of various types.
I found the "Basic Principles" in the introductory material inadequate for a beginner who's forgotten basic citation principles from high school. If you don't know when to use a source list entry, a full reference note, or a subsequent reference note, then you'll need to first review a citation style guide before you use a QuickSheet. And if you don't understand why citations are different for text and images, then you'll need to consult Evidence! or Evidence Explained. There just isn't room to adequately cover these topics in the space available.
Next to the fold of each QuickSheet page is the black band one finds on photocopies made from a book when the binding doesn't allow the page to sit flat on the copy machine. I find these blemishes amateurish, unsightly, and distracting. I can't imagine what the designer was thinking. Fortunately, they do not affect usage of the QuickSheet.
I use one or more of these publications almost daily. I recommend all four publications from the Evidence! series to everyone that does genealogy several times a week and to all libraries and Family History Centers (FHCs). For everyone else, buy or borrow and read Evidence! and the first two chapters of Evidence Explained. Then consider buying one or both QuickSheets for reference.
You'll also want to take a look at your desktop genealogy software. If it doesn't include Evidence!-compatible citation templates, by all means upgrade to a version that does, or switch to another program.
|QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images: Evidence! Style |
8.5" x 11", 4 pp., folded, laminated. 2009.
Genealogical Publishing Company
1-800-296-6687 * www.genealogical.com
$7.95 (Maryland and Michigan residents add 6% sales tax)