Citation Guidelines

Below please find sample citations, in footnote form, for a variety of types of material found in the MHS collection.

If you have questions about a specific citation, please contact the reference librarian for individual assistance.

The Massachusetts Historical Society uses the Chicago Manual of Style in the crafting of our recommended citations. Regardless of your chosen citation style, the MHS requests that you take the time to verify each collection title in our online catalog ABIGAIL. This will ensure that future researchers will be able to follow your citations and locate the materials.

Citations should include:

●     A description of the item

●     The name of the author

●     The item date

●     The collection in which the item is found

●     The name of the repository (Massachusetts Historical Society).

 

Artifacts and photographs excepted, the MHS does not recommend the use of call numbers (e.g. Ms. N-123; Bdses-Sm 1884) in crafting citations.

If you consulted the microfilm edition of a collection, please cite the microfilm edition rather than the original manuscripts in your citations. For the suggested format, see Microfilm Editions below.

Sample Citations

Artifacts

Surgeon’s kit belonging to William Swift, M.D., United States Navy, War of 1812, artifact number 0057, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Bound Volumes

William M. Bell orderly book, 14 July 1779, William M. Bell Orderly Book, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Correspondence

Charles Wiley to Richard Henry Dana, Sr., 29 May 1821, Dana Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Electronic Editions

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 14 January 1797 [electronic edition], Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive, Massachusetts Historical Society, http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams.

Microfilm Editions

Caroline Wells Healey Dall journal, 9 October 1867, volume J27, Caroline Wells Healey Dall Papers, microfilm edition, 45 reels (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1981), reel 36.

Photographs

“The Branded Hand of Captain Jonathan Walker,” daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, 1845, Daguerreotype Collection, photograph number 1.373, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Titled Documents

“Dedicatory Address of President Lincoln,” [unpublished manuscript] by unknown author, [November 1863], Edward Everett Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Untitled Documents

Inventory of books received by Thomas Jefferson from the George Wythe estate, circa September 1806, page 1, Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Works of Art

Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, watercolor on ivory by Susan Anne Livingston Ridley Sedgwick, 1811, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Upcoming Events

Environmental History Seminar

The Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Boston’s Quabbin Reservoir, 1919 ...

16Jan 5:15PM 2018

In 1919, state engineers proposed solving Boston’s water supply crisis by damming the Swift River, flooding a western Massachusetts valley and evicting 2,500 ...

Brown Bag

Skulls, Selves, and Showmanship: Itinerant Phrenologists in 19th-Century America

17Jan 12:00PM 2018

"Come, then, one and all, and learn to know yourselves." With these words, a traveling phrenologist advertised his lecture to the public. Proponents of phrenology ...

Author Talk

Pauline Maier Memorial Lecture - Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention

17Jan 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

James Madison’s Notes on the 1787 Constitutional Convention have acquired nearly unquestioned authority as the description of the U.S. Constitution’s creation ...

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