APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-06 > 1245731527
From: "Richard A. Pence" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Source citations
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 00:32:07 -0400
Jeez, Elizabeth, you forgot -
5. EE has made them more complicated than they really should be.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 11:49 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] Source citations
> Bonnie wrote:
>> I timed myself recently. It took me 15 minutes to figure out and complete
> a source citation. It's time consuming when I have several different
> construct in one sitting.
> Several issues are involved here.
> 1. Everything takes a while to learn. When you began using FTM (or
> program), it also took time to learn; but you invested the time because
> knew it would benefit you from here on out. Source citation is no
> different. The more you work with citations, the less time it will take.
> (You underscore this point with your statement: "Part of the time I spend
> deciding which format is appropriate for what I am sourcing - is it a
> newspaper article or is it an obituary? It's a newspaper article." Once
> become practiced at citation, these decisions will be quick to make.
> 2. Much of the time you spent on constructing the citation would have been
> spent not in dealing with "Evidence style citations" but in trying to pick
> out essential data from the confusing list of sources provided by
> Ancestry.com for that database. Ancestry actually cites 6 different
> resources that it has combined into one master file. (I know, because I
> to spend that same time in trying to figure out what was going on there.
> 3. As Michael Hait pointed out, the most important thing is to learn the
> principles. You can spend an awful lot of time combing templates in search
> of one that seems to be the closest fit to what you need. Even then you'll
> likely have to do manipulations to that template--sometimes because of the
> way that the software developers "interpreted" the Evidence models and
> sometimes because the source has quirks that aren't included in any
> template. Learning the *principles* behind citations is the quickest way
> reduce the time spent on each citation.
> 4. The time you spent, IMO, has done you a benefit you may not have
> perceived. Analyzing what we have used, in order to construct a citation,
> prompts us to think about characteristics of the source that affect both
> reliability and its future accessibility. Both are evident in the citation
> you constructed.
>>I've tried to figure out an easier way, but I it hasn't occurred to me.
> [Meanwhile], it's just not fun.
> On the other hand, how much fun is it to hit a brick wall on a problem
> because we've trusted an unreliable source? How much fun is it to spend
> boocoodles of money and time tracing a line that turns out not to be ours,
> all because we trusted information we should not have?
>> And then there is the construction of the source of the cited material.
> the most recent case, this was the citation:
>>Ontario, Canada, Marriages 1857-1924, entry of Frederic Jas. Oharah,
> #002201, page 50[?]6, date of marriage 22 August 1891; digital image,
> Ancestry.ca (www.ancestry.ca : accessed 21 April 2009); citing
> of Marriages, 1869-1922, microfilm MS932_70, Archives of Ontario, Toronto,
> Ontario, Canada. Entry indexed at Ancestry.ca as being in York [county?],
> 1922, "Frederic Jas. Oharsh."
> Bonnie, the above citation is considerably longer than it needs to be. (By
> comparison, the new _QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images_
> 21 different models. Of those, only 3 are as long as your citation above
> all involve the U.S. National Archives, whose citations are inordinately
> long in any format. Eighteen of the 21 Ancestry citations on the new
> QuickSheet are considerably shorter than your citation above.)
> Following Evidence models (for example, the one for online digital
> taken from archival material, covered at EE 3.16), the source you used
> can be cited in just 31 words instead of your 53.
> "Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1857-1924," digital image, _Ancestry.com_
> (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2009), Frederic Jas. OHarsh,
> Carleton County registration no. 002201; citing microfilm MS932, roll 70,
> Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
> Note the following differences:
> Database titles, like article titles, should be in quotation marks.
> Drawing from Ancestry's data, you cite a page number without an
> identification of a book. That makes your page number citation relatively
> meaningless. To determine the name of the book, you'd have to backtrack
> pages to the first digitized page of the volume, to find Ancestry's
> on which the coverless book is identified. (The problem here lies with a
> lack of understanding as to what users need, on the part of the
> It would have been more helpful if they had created a tag that showed at
> top of each frame of film, citing the name of the book in which that p. __
> appears.) Nonetheless, a quick scan of the organization of the record
> indicates that the key identifiers are (a) the county, which both the book
> and Ancestry show as Carleton County, not York; and (b) the registration
> Date of marriage is not needed, given that (a) you would be citing it in
> your text and (b) the date is not needed to relocate the record.
> On the image I viewed, the groom's name is clearly "Frederic Jas. OHarsh"
> [not Oharah] and Ancestry's index cites it as "Frederic Jas. Oharsh."
> Because there is no discrepancy between the index entry and the actual
> entry, there is no need to state how Ancestry has indexed it.
> The microfilm number is actual MS 932. The "70" portion of the citation
> represents the specific roll number. Again, Ancestry seems to assume that
> users will figure out what it means when it cites the microfilm in that
> Re your statement, "Entry indexed at Ancestry.ca as being in York
> [county?]," there is no need to reiterate what Ancestry's abstract shows
> when you are citing the digital image. After all, you're not citing the
> database, you're citing the image and that image clearly states "County of
> Carleton." (But note that Ancestry's database does say Carleton, not
> Hope this helps,
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> APG member, Tennessee
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