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Archival research guide

Citing Archival Records

Including an exact citation for archival material can be difficult to do but it is also all the more necessary given their unique nature.  A significant portion of archival holdings are unique and there are simply no others to refer to anywhere else. 


In general, the following elements need to be present in the citation to assure that the reader of your work will be able to precisely identify what is being cited and locate it in the future.


  • Fonds or collection name.
  • Accession or manuscript collection number. 
  • Box and folder numbers.
  • Repository. Example: Mount Saint Vincent University Archives, Halifax, N.S. 


If you are having trouble citing archival material, ask the Archivist for help.



Patrick O'Neill fonds. "Saskatchewan Drama Festival." 2006-178/8-46. Mount Saint Vincent University Archives, Halifax, N.S. 


Copies of archival material made for researchers are for private research and reference purposes only. If a researcher wishes to publish any archival material, they are responsible for determining copyright ownership and obtaining permission to publish the materials.

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.
Creative Commons License

You may copy the guide for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included. Please be aware that the guide may contain links to subscription based services for which access is restricted. We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.