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“Dedicatory Address of President Lincoln,” [unpublished manuscript] by unknown author, [November 1863], Edward Everett Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.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

For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era

22Feb 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella ...

Teacher Workshop

Slavery & the U.S. Supreme Court

24Feb 9:00AM 2018
Registration fee: $25 per person

How did the personal and political philosophies of Justices John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, and Joseph Story influence their proslavery positions? Paul Finkelman, ...

Author Talk

Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court

26Feb 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story upheld the ...

From our Blog

This Week @ MHS

The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 19 February, for Presidents Day.  It is a holiday-shortened week but there is still plenty of action happening here at the Society. Below are details for what we ...

When the Harlem Renaissance Meets Jim Crow

Your reference to the southerners regard, or rather, disregard of the Negro [--] I experienced a rather amusing incident a few weeks ago.       This passage comes from a letter ...

Read more from our blog

Have you seen?