Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Insider’s Guide to Citations

The Insider's Guide to Citations Forward

I see a lot of misunderstandings about citations. They are both easier and harder than you think. I see a need for a summary of citation purposes, principles, and practices.

In this series I hope to accomplish several things:

  • Show beginners how easy it is to cite historic record collections on and While these two websites are my editorial focus, the principles apply elsewhere.
  • Convince and that they need to shoulder the heavy lifting, so that citations to their collections can be easy for beginners.
  • Convince non-beginners that what I am showing beginners is credible, keeping in mind that we are speaking about one limited kind of citation: those to historic record collections on professional sites like and
  • Convince everyone that Mills citation guides are absolutely necessary for citing archival sources.
  • Pass on some insights I gained during a year's study of citation issues, perhaps with some discussion of advanced topics.

I am pretty certain I can’t accomplished all of these in a single series. But hey, I’m the Ancestry Insider and I’ve got to try.

Mine, Yours, and Ours

In reality, “The Insider’s Guide” is the wrong title for this series. After only a few articles, it is obvious where this is headed. I am getting lots of feedback, corrections, and suggestions. This is quickly becoming “the Insider’s—with Lot’s of Help from You—Guide to Citations.”

Consequently, I think I need to share an updated outline with you on a regular basis.

  • The outline is changing because of your feedback.
  • You won’t worry about a topic being missed if you can see it coming.
  • The optimal order of articles won’t match the order they’re published.
  • It will serve as a current table of contents.
  • It might serve double-duty as a summary of citation purposes, principles, and practices. We’ll see.

Click Citations in the right column of the Ancestry Insider website to see the most recent table of contents.

Again, thank you,
-- The Insider

This is “The Insider’s—with Lot’s of Help from You—Guide to Citation.”

1 comment:

  1. It would add additional value to your newsletter, if you had a readily available "Print" icon.

    Enjoy the letter very much.



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