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.
Surgeon’s kit belonging to William Swift, M.D., United States Navy, War of 1812, artifact number 0057, Massachusetts Historical Society.
William M. Bell orderly book, 14 July 1779, William M. Bell Orderly Book, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Charles Wiley to Richard Henry Dana, Sr., 29 May 1821, Dana Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
John Adams to Abigail Adams, 14 January 1797 [electronic edition], Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive, Massachusetts Historical Society, http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams.
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.
“The Branded Hand of Captain Jonathan Walker,” daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, 1845, Daguerreotype Collection, photograph number 1.373, Massachusetts Historical Society.
“Dedicatory Address of President Lincoln,” [unpublished manuscript] by unknown author, [November 1863], Edward Everett Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
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.