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Archives & Special Collections Research

Citing Archival & Special Collections Material

Bard Graduate Center follows The Chicago Manual of Style. When including unpublished textual and non-textual sources such as those located in archives and special collections in your notes and bibliography, CMS offers few strict guidelines, but counsels researchers to include sufficient detail about the location of the record within the collection to allow it to be easily found by a reader. For more detailed information, researchers are directed to read Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States.

As a general guide, the kind of information you need to properly cite your record can be found in the finding aid or catalog record. You should read the "arrangement" section to understand how your particular archival collection is organized, and thus the categories of information you'll need to include when describing the location of the record, and the "container/box list" for your record's particular designations within each category. Very broadly, your bibliographic entry will look as follows: record item (the name of your record), file unit, series, subgroup, record group, collectin name, repository name. Note that the information is ordered from singular to general, and that most records will not require all of these categories. 

For archival records consulted online, include the same information in the same format, but add the url or database name.

While CMS generally notes that non-textual sources need not be included in the bibliography unless they are used repeatedly or essential to the argument, there are other ways to acknowledge such evidence and help your reader to locate and access it. First, you can describe your evidence, including its location within your own text, or in the footnotes. You can also include an image of the record or object, and use the object caption to communicate its location.




Lobby card for the film Women in War, directed by John H Auer (1940; Republic Pictures; USA), 2019.001, box 1, Pat Kirkham Film Collection, Bard Graduate Center, New York.

Bibliography: Pat Kirkham Film Collection. Bard Graduate Center, New York.





Unpublished Material

Note: Typescript of unpublished essay with handwritten comments, "Envisioning Nineteenth-Century New York: New York as Cultural Capital, 1840-1880," c. 2011-2014, box 4, folder 6, David   Jaffee Papers, Bard Graduate Center, New York.


David Jaffee Papers. Bard Graduate Center, New York.






 “TALK TO US” button (artist Keith Haring), BC248, bag 9, Lesbian Herstory Archives,  Brooklyn, NY, collection/buttons.


 Lesbian Herstory Archives, Brooklyn, NY.