TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2011-02 > 1297294934
From: Terry Reigel <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] A Collection of Examples
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 18:42:14 -0500
John Cardinal wrote:
> The person I am most concerned about using my source
> information is ... wait for it ... ME! <g> When I revisit
> a citation at some point in the future, and that citation
> is to an online image, I want to be able to get back to
> that image without having to retrace all the steps I took
> to find it in the first place. I am a lumper more than a
> splitter, and so I record information supplied by the web
> site in the CD that would not be part of a citation to
> the original off-line version of the source. My two-part
> question is, (1) do you record those details and (2) if
> you do, how do you construct the footnote template to
> show those details?
An interesting question. I agree that the citation is first and foremost to help me find the source again when I want to look again at exactly what it says. I find I do that not infrequently.
We need to differentiate whether we are talking about a database of extracted records or images of the original. Your discussion seems to be addressing images, but as best I can tell the example you used is actually a database. But the question applies equally to both, I think.
First I would note that I find Ancestry's "Card Catalog" to be enormously helpful. So much so that I have arranged it to appear as the first item in "My Quick Links," which I have arranged at the top of my Ancestry home page. With it I found your example, "Boston City Directory, 1890. Boston, MA, USA: Sampson, Murdock and Co., 1890" (hope that's the right one) in three steps without knowing how Ancestry had categorized it, and the record for Alphonse H. Cardinal, baker, in two more (is he the right one)?
... like this one, I do record the name of the database, as Ancestry names it, in my Source Definition, and the record information (usually the name of the person, but sometimes more depending on the database) as record by Ancestry in the CD. That lets me search for for that record again once I am in the right database. My Full Footnote template is:
"[TITLE]," online on [ITAL:][COMPILER][:ITAL], [URL]<, [COMMENTS]><, [CD]>
The Title is what Ancestry (or whoever) calls the database, in this case "Boston, Massachusetts Directory, 1890," not the larger collection it falls within. Ancestry's name of the database appears on search results page, at the top of the box in which the results appear. There is a brief description of the source of the data below the results, and you can in most cases get a fuller description by clicking on the name of the database, which is a link to the page about that database.
I don't record the "real" title of the book, in this case "Boston City Directory, 1890. Boston, MA, USA: Sampson, Murdock and Co., 1890" as a primary element of the Source Definition because I didn't actually see it. But I would record it in the Comments, as part of the description of the original data from which the database was extracted. So I'd say "taken for..." or "original data..." Some of these explanations can get long, depending on how Ancestry describes the source of the database.
That's the main reason I use one Source definition per database - the treatment of the original source can be there and only appear in the full footnote, or in the case of my Second Site website, only on the Sources page, not with each footnote.
As a lumper I would probably put the name of the database in the CD, along with the record info, but that makes it more problematic to include the description of the database. Do you put it in every CD so it repeats often, or try to guess which one will be the first footnote to appear?
...I don't find citing specific image numbers, and especially not specific URL's, to images found on the web to be helpful. Ancestry and others seem to not be timid about rearranging their various collections from time to time in ways that make this information invalid.
I think I could find most of them using the Card Catalog, but I find that a bother, especially for census records, which I find I refer back to often. My solution it to keep copies of all the images I use a source on my hard drive. Storage is cheap, and all my images (which include all my scans from microfilms and hard copies as well as those from online sources) amount to only 8.5GB for 8,300 files. I arrange them in a tree structure that maps fairly readily to the Source Abbreviations I use for my Sources in TMG, so I usually can find them very quickly.
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