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From: "Elizabeth Shown Mills" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Census Citation Question
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 22:37:25 -0600
In-Reply-To: <20080113033310.E075863378@gateway.wvi.com>

Sue wrote:
>I am looking at EE, and the citation forms for (any) census, and the
forms for NARA microfilm and on-line census images are very similar,
which I would expect. They general begin:

1840 U.S. Census, Nora Springs, Floyd County . . . .

>But at the NARA web site as well as on ancestry.com, the census title
is cited as (and I have lost the precise page on NARA, which is very
frustrating!) with a title, like
Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 ".

>Why the difference?

Susan, see 6.14 in the census chapter. Then read 2.13 (chapter on basic
citation principles), 11.2 and the very lengthy 11.8 (National Archives

NARA, long before the microfilm, ago began identifying population schedules
by First Census of the U.S., Second Census of the U.S., etc., rather than
year, because the Census Bureau files are divided into series according to
First, Second, etc., rather than year.

When microfilm is created by NARA, it generally is given the name of the
record series from which the film is made--whether we're dealing with census
records or all those other things covered in Chapter 11.

In common practice, however, researchers have long cited the federal census
more succinctly (and more clearly) by exact year. NARA tolerates the shorter
approach, obviously, since it has recommended _Evidence_ at its website
since it came out 10 years ago. (But, of course, I use that word "shorter"
euphemistically, given that there isn't ANYthing short about a NARA


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