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The University of Texas at Austin

Research Reference Help

 

It’s important for the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History to know the impact of our research collections. For that reason, we ask researchers to notify us when they intend to cite materials in our archive. Occasionally we feature current publications that make use of our archival collections on our webpage. Please complete the online form and click "submit". We will reply to requests within a week of submission.

Request to cite form button

Intent to Cite Form

There is no fee to use quotations or cite information from our collections.

How to Cite Archival Materials

Documentation of a researcher's sources in the form of footnotes and a bibliography is essential to the work of historians. Whether it is for a class assignment, a thesis or dissertation, an article or a book, if an archival resource is used, then it needs to be cited. The time for researchers to consider citations is when he or she is doing the research; it's best not to wait until the writing begins.

To cite an archival source properly, researchers need to note the following elements of the resources they are using:

  1. The document. This might be a diary, a letter, a receipt, or a list of ship's passengers.
  2. The collection. The collection element includes the title of the collection (The Joseph Smith Papers or the Prints and Photographs Collection, for example). Also included in this element is the name of the repository – The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
  3. Detail information. For citations of documents in manuscript or records collections at the Briscoe Center, it will facilitate finding the document if the researcher includes the box number and the folder number or title.

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and Endnotes include document information, the collection and repository information (without the city and state), and box number, file number or name, or any other detail information that will help to locate the document. Separate all of these elements with a comma.

Examples:

1Moses Austin Bryan to his Wife, August 31, 1844, Paul G. Bell Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, Box 2N252.

2Mary Adams Maverick, Memoirs, 1842, Maverick Family Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, Box 2R110.

3"Day-Old Filibuster Grinds On – Sleep Senate Hamstrung", Fort Worth Press, May 2, 1957, Vertical File – Gonzalez, Henry B., Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Bibliography

Include only the collection and repository information, including the city and state. Separate all elements with a period.

Examples:
Paul G. Bell Papers. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The University of Texas at Austin. Austin, Texas.

Maverick Family Papers. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The University of Texas at Austin. Austin, Texas.

Vertical Files. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The University of Texas at Austin. Austin, Texas.

Additional online sources for citing archival sources:

"Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students", section 7.c "Advanced Citation", Professor Patrick Rael's online writing guides, Bowdoin College Department of History Research Resources, http://www.bowdoin.edu/writing-guides/.

"How to Cite Archival Sources", Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, J. Robert Van Pelt and Opie Library, Michigan Technological University, http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/citation.aspx.

"Citations Guide," University Archives and Area Research Center, University of Wisconsin River Falls, http://www.uwrf.edu/AreaResearchCenter/CitationsGuide.cfm.

"Citing Archival Materials", American Heritage Center Research Services, University of Wyoming, http://www.uwyo.edu/ahc/research/citation.html.


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