We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about the past. Yet sometimes records have anomalies. Some are amusing or humorous. Some are interesting or weird. Some are peculiar or suspicious. Some are infuriating, or downright laughable. Records say the darnedest things!
Let me briefly talk about two aspects of citations to online images.
I have seen citations that consisted of a URL only. I’m guilty of it myself (at least in my working notes). Is a URL sufficient? Consider the following two examples, taken from actual source references to the U.S. census. Neither one still works! A naked URL is insufficient because links rot.
The U.S. Federal census is now ubiquitously available on major genealogy websites. If you viewed it online, is it necessary to specify the one you used? Consider the following example.
3. 1860 U.S. census, Jackson County, Ohio, population schedule, Scioto Township, p. 62; NARA microfilm publication M634, roll 992.
Depending on which website you go to, you might see this
If you don’t specify the website, others may not be able to see what you saw!
Darned image citations!
P.S. For extra credit, create complete citations for these three sources. For citation 1, cite Robert Black; for 2, cite Pearis Raymond; for 3, cite Lewis Rapp on FamilySearch.org.