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From: <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Intermediate Sourcing Question
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 01:17:51 -0500
References: <CKEOJFLJIEKGCJCLAKDIMEGDFNAA.viking@rvi.net>
In-Reply-To: <CKEOJFLJIEKGCJCLAKDIMEGDFNAA.viking@rvi.net>


Kirsten wrote:
>My genealogy software (Legacy) has recently introduced a new feature to
produce Evidence-style source citations. (Thank you, Ms. Mills.)
> I'm toying with the idea of grouping many miscellaneous items
together under one Master Source using something like " XYZ Family Papers"
as a title. Of course there would be appropriate detailed text,
description, and provenance for each item, but it would certainly condense
my Master Source List and bibliography to a more agreeable length.

Kirsten,

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, what you describe aren't really "family
papers." Describing them as such could mislead others.

Too, by the time you end up adding that "appropriate detailed text,
description, and provenance for each item," that would not condense your
source citations. It might even lengthen them.

With regard to the problem you anticipate of having zillions of Master
Source Entries that cover just one document: this should not happen if
citations are created properly.

Do you have a copy of Evidence Explained? There you will find considerable
guidance on when to cite files, collection, and series vs. individual
records; when to split out records or group materials so you don't end up
with bloated source lists; how to set up source lists; and all those other
unforeseen "downsides" that you are rightfully anticipating.

(I know. I know. Everybody thinks _Evidence_ is just a collection of
templates. Ergo, if the software provides the templates, they don't need the
book. <g> But, then, that's why they end up with all those Master Source
Entries to just one document. That word _Explained_ IS there in the title
for a reason -- namely: everybody keeps asking questions exactly like those
you've raised, so EE tries to answer them. 885 pages of just about every
question everybody has raised over the last decade since the little
_Evidence!_ came out.)

>I never intend to formally publish my work, so that's not a factor.

Whether you "formally publish" is not a guiding consideration, IMO. What we
cite should be governed by what information we need to capture in order to
(a) accurately assess the reliability of each individual statement we
assert, and (b) weigh the relative credibility of all those pieces of
contradictory evidence that we find.

That need exists whether we publish in print, whether we post it to the
Internet, whether we snail-mail it to Great-Granny, or whether we hide it
away in a drawer for our heirs to puzzle over.

Elizabeth




-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:] On Behalf
Of Kirsten Bowman
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 7:52 PM
To: Apg-L
Subject: [APG] Intermediate Sourcing Question

My genealogy software (Legacy) has recently introduced a new feature to
produce Evidence-style source citations. (Thank you, Ms. Mills.)

I have a rather large collection of "family papers" (perhaps 200-300 items).
Some can be traced back to an "official" source--with a fair amount of
difficulty--and others probably can't. There are, or will be, templates
suitable for most of these, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the
struggle. I'm toying with the idea of grouping many miscellaneous items
together under one Master Source using something like " XYZ Family Papers"
as a title. Of course there would be appropriate detailed text,
description, and provenance for each item, but it would certainly condense
my Master Source List and bibliography to a more agreeable length. As it
stands now, I could conceivably end up with many dozens of Master Sources,
each relating to only one item such as a RR Retirement Board pension file, a
Longshoreman's Union ID card, a Civil War pension file, and on and on.

Is this heresy? What value would be added by splitting them out? Are there
downsides that I haven't thought of? I never intend to formally publish my
work, so that's not a factor. Thoughts from the pros would be appreciated.

Kirsten








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