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“Dedicatory Address of President Lincoln,” [unpublished manuscript] by unknown author, [November 1863], Edward Everett Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.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

History of Women and Gender Seminar

Transgender History and Archives: An Interdisciplinary Conversation

18Dec 5:30PM 2018
Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute

This panel aims to begin an interdisciplinary conversation in transgender history. What is the state of the field of transgender studies in history, archiving, and public ...

MHS Tour

The History and Collections of the MHS

22Dec 10:00AM 2018

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, ...

Early American History Seminar

The Consecration of Samuel Seabury and the Crisis of Atlantic Episcopacy, 1782-1807

8Jan 5:15PM 2019

Samuel Seabury’s consecration in 1784 signaled a transformation in the organization of American Protestantism. After more than a century of resistance to the office ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

It is our last week of programming at the MHS for 2018. Join us for a seminar, a Saturday tour, or stop by to see our current exhibition. - Tuesday, 18 December, 5:30 PM: Transgender History ...

“On the Borders of Nonsense”: John Quincy Adams, Poet

It was a rainy day in May 1839 and John Quincy Adams, stuck inside, was amusing himself writing poetry. He was trying to imitate the Roman poet Horace, and outdo the English poet Alexander Pope. ...

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