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“Dedicatory Address of President Lincoln,” [unpublished manuscript] by unknown author, [November 1863], Edward Everett Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.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

Online Event; Conversation

Jefferson: Then and Now

29Oct 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

The reputations of all of the founders have changed dramatically over the course of American history, none more than that of Thomas Jefferson. Historians Annette Gordon ...

African American History Seminar; Online Event

Success to the Literary Society! Black Male Youth Organizing in Early Nineteenth-Century Boston

5Nov 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

In 1841, a dozen or so African American male youth aged twelve to sixteen established the Young Men’s Literary Society in Boston with the stated aim to promote ...

Teacher Workshop

Legislating the Environment: Teaching Environmental History and Civics

7Nov 9:30AM 2020
$25 Registration Fee

In partnership with the Tsongas Industrial History Center, we will explore the intersections of environmental history, science, and engineering. Chad Montrie, Professor ...

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Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

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