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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
  • File and/or item 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 Mount Archives for help.
 

Example:

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

Copyright

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.

APA Archival Citations (courtesy of Dalhousie University)

In-text Citations with APA

Enclose the author's surname and date in brackets (and/or the title if the author is unknown or you are citing multiple works by that author with the same date).

... in his letter to the electorate (Hicks, 1956). Voting patterns are treated in later reports (Annapolis County Chamber of Commerce Minutes, 1958) ....

Reference-page Citations with APA

Author [last name first]. (year month day). Title [description of material]. Name of collection (call number, identifier or box/folder/item number). Name and location of repository.

Letter

Hicks, H.D. (1956, October 24). Correspondence from Henry Davies Hicks to the Annapolis County electorate. Henry Davies Hicks fonds (MS-2-511, Box 15, Folder 9). Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Textual document

Wilson, B. (2000). Typescript of short story Brothers and Sisters by Budge Wilson. Budge Wilson fonds (MS-2-650.2013-070, Box 3, Folder 9). Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photographs

Wamboldt Waterfield Photography Limited. (1981, February 7). Andy MacKay Installed as President of Dal [photograph]. Wamboldt Waterfield Photographic Collection (MS-4-250, Box 74, Folder 7). Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Graphic material

Creighton, C. (197-). Watercolour painting [painting]. Catherine Creighton and family fonds (MS-2-656, Box 12, Folder 6). Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ephemera

Dalhousie Student Union. (1986). In Search of the Supernatural [poster]. Dalhousie University Reference Collection (MS-1-Ref, Box 16, Folder 27). Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

MLA Archival Citations (courtesy of Dalhousie University)

In-text Citations with MLA

MLA follows an author-page format for in-text citation. You should provide enough information within the text to enable readers to locate the full source in the Works Cited page and to differentiate between multiple works by the same author. Usually the author’s surname is sufficient, and/or the date and/or title when citing multiple works by an author or an item with no known author.

... in his letter to the electorate (Hicks, 1956). Voting patterns are  treated in later reports (Annapolis County Chamber of Commerce) ....

 

Reference-page Citations with MLA

General format: Author (last name, first name). Title/description of material. Date (day month year). Call number, identifier or box/folder/item number. Collection name. Name of repository, location.

 

Letter

Hicks, Henry Davies. Letter to the Annapolis County electorate. 24 October 1956. MS-2-511, Box 15, Folder 9. Henry Davies Hicks fonds. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Textual document

Wilson, Budge. Typescript of short story Brothers and Sisters. 2000. MS-2-650.2013-070, Box 3, Folder 9. Budge Wilson fonds. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photograph

Wamboldt-Waterfield Photography Studio. Photograph of Andy MacKay installed as President of Dalhousie. February 1981. MS-4-250, Box 74, Folder 7. Wamboldt-Waterfield Photographic Collection. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Graphic material

Creighton, Catherine. Watercolour painting. [197-]. MS-2-656, Box 12, Folder 6. Catherine Creighton and family fonds. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ephemera

Dalhousie Student Union. "In Search of the Supernatural" [poster]. 1986. MS-1-Ref, Box 16, Folder 27. Dalhousie University Reference Collection. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Chicago Style Archival Citation (courtesy of Dalhousie University)

In-text Citations with MLA

MLA follows an author-page format for in-text citation. You should provide enough information within the text to enable readers to locate the full source in the Works Cited page and to differentiate between multiple works by the same author. Usually the author’s surname is sufficient, and/or the date and/or title when citing multiple works by an author or an item with no known author.

... in his letter to the electorate (Hicks, 1956). Voting patterns are  treated in later reports (Annapolis County Chamber of Commerce) ....

 

Reference-page Citations with MLA

General format: Author (last name, first name). Title/description of material. Date (day month year). Call number, identifier or box/folder/item number. Collection name. Name of repository, location.

 

Letter

Hicks, Henry Davies. Letter to the Annapolis County electorate. 24 October 1956. MS-2-511, Box 15, Folder 9. Henry Davies Hicks fonds. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Textual document

Wilson, Budge. Typescript of short story Brothers and Sisters. 2000. MS-2-650.2013-070, Box 3, Folder 9. Budge Wilson fonds. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photograph

Wamboldt-Waterfield Photography Studio. Photograph of Andy MacKay installed as President of Dalhousie. February 1981. MS-4-250, Box 74, Folder 7. Wamboldt-Waterfield Photographic Collection. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Graphic material

Creighton, Catherine. Watercolour painting. [197-]. MS-2-656, Box 12, Folder 6. Catherine Creighton and family fonds. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ephemera

Dalhousie Student Union. "In Search of the Supernatural" [poster]. 1986. MS-1-Ref, Box 16, Folder 27. Dalhousie University Reference Collection. Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Contact Us

MSVU Library
EMF 125/126
15 Lumpkin Rd.
Halifax NS, B3M 2J6

Telephone: 902-457-6402
E-mail: archives@MSVU.ca

Hours: By appointment


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