2nd General Question Re Civil War Pension File Citation

 
 
 
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scottrumph
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2nd General Question Re Civil War Pension File Citation

Citation examples are given for invididual documents from a Civil War Pension file e.g. Widow's Declaration. Is there any way to shorten the citation when citing to a SECOND different document from the same pension file?

I see examples of subsequent citation formats for the SAME document, but what if you are citing to a second different document from the same pension file? Is there any way to shorten it w/o given the entire long citation to the entire pension file and online database?

Thanks,

SHR

 

 

EE
EE's picture

SHR, you'll be relieved to know that a short-form option exists—and that the answer to this second question is short also.

EE 11.40 gives this example for a widow's pension file, citing one document:

Deposition of Claimant, 16 May 1902, Mary Scoville, widow’s pension application no. 748,632, certificate no. 543,796; service of Frank Scoville (Pvt., Co. M, 22d N.Y. Vol. Cav., Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications ..., 1861–1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
 
For a subsequent citation to a different document in this same file, we need only say:
 
Deposition of Whatever Dude, 20 May 1902, Mary Scoville widow's pension application no. 784632.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Editor

scottrumph
scottrumph's picture

Thank you so much for your detailed response, which I  actually understand. Thankfully there is a shorted version or my citation page would be longer than the original text!

However, I do have a follow up if I may: Again, the example given appears to be for actualy review of the physical archived document. What about with online databases e.g. Fold3 with imaged pages of the documents? The reason I think this may be different is because when citing to the database image the images webpage is different for each .pdf document citing to. 

I again am thinking of Civil War Pension fileson Fold3, something I am currently dealing with. 

I am looking at EE Basics Manuscripts & Online Images and looking at the last examle of a Layered Citation: Database. Of course the intial Civil War Pension file citation is much longer because of the title names, but what if you had the citation given, e.g."South Carolina...item 00901" and then consulted the same source and item 00902. I am looking for a way to shorten rather than list the entire database citation and original source citation. Again, with Civil War Pension files with online images the initial citation is long. There has to be a way to shorten the subdsequent citation to simply a different page of the same source.

Thanks,

SHR

EE
EE's picture

SHR, the model you reference from the QuickStart Guide ("Layered Citation: Database") is for citing derivative material created by the entity that created the database. Therefore, it cites the database and then it cites the specific entry in the database.  

An original document (which is not cited in that example) is an entirely different entity. It has far more credibility, so we do not want to cite it in a way that would be confused with a derivative. It also physically exists somewhere else—somewhere that needs to be identified in the event that the physical original needs to be consulted for some reason.

When we view an image of the original, the first layer of the citation cites the original as fully as we can. The format we follow is the first example on that page of the QuickStart Guide.Then we use a second layer to identify the website and its database that delivered the image of the original.

Shortened citations are useful—after we have already fully identified the source. Shortening the first full identification by using a shorter format appropriate for another pupose will strip away details needed to either locate the original or evaluate its reliability.

The best way to shorten an overlong first citation is to look for redundancy that can be eliminated.  The example we discuss in your next message below makes this point.

The Editor

scottrumph
scottrumph's picture

This is what I thought for an online database with imaged documents, with original citation and then subsequent citation of different document in the same file:

Declaration of Claimant, 26 March 1863, Jane Arnold, widows pension application 345455, certificate no. 6438; service of Robert Arnold (Pvt. Co C, 90th N.Y. Vol. Inf. Civil War);Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington D.C.; digital images, FOLD3, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, ca. 1861- ca. 1910 (http://fold3.com/image/249/223579114 :accessed 28 November 2017). Subsequent different document in same file Affidavit of Samuel Smith, 26 March 1863, Jane Arnold, widow’s pension application no. 345455 Certificate no. 6438, Civil War, RG 15, NA-Washington; digital images, FOLD3,Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, ca. 1861-ca.1910 (http://fold3.com  [web address to specific page] accessed 28 November. Any thoughts/comments appreciated. Thanks, SHR

EE
EE's picture

SHR, your proposed citation can be shortened significantly by eliminating redundancy. Your 119 words can be reduced to just 86, with no loss of critical identifying information.

In a situation such as the one you present here—say, we want to feature the widow’s affidavit, but also want to support it with details from another document in that same file—the briefest, cleanest way to do so would be this way (using different colors for the two layers):

Declaration of Claimant, 26 March 1863, Jane Arnold, widow's pension application 345455, certificate no. 6438; service of Robert Arnold (Pvt. Co C, 90th N.Y. Vol. Inf. Civil War), Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, 1861-1934, Civil War and Later Pension Files, Record Group 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington D.C.; imaged in "Civil War 'Widows' Pensions'," Fold3 (http://fold3.com/image/249/223579114 : accessed 28 November 2017), page 4. Also see, affidavit of Samuel Smith, 26 March 1863, same file, page ___, Fold3 image ________. 

Aside from the elimination of redundancy, you’ll notice a couple of other significant alterations. Your own Layer 2 tells us that you accessed the images online, as follows:

FOLD3, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, ca. 1861- ca. 1910 (http://fold3.com/image/249/223579114 : accessed 28 November 2017) …

Those thoughts you ask for would include these three:

1. When we cite a website such as Fold3, in which material is organized into individual databases, we must cite the database also. In this case the title of the database is “Civil War ‘Widows’ Pensions.’”   

2. You’ll recall from our discussion yesterday that we cite a website and a database just as we would a chapter in a book—i.e.,

“Title of Database,” Title of Book (Place of publication/URL : Date), specific item of interest.

Note that the title of the database/chapter comes before the title of the website/book and that the title of the database/chapter is in quotation marks while the title of the website/book is italicized, normal case (not caps). The parenthetical Place of publication/URL comes immediately after the title.

3. Your proposed citation carries a string words {Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, ca. 1861- ca. 1910} between the title of the website and the parenthetical publication data. Perhaps you meant this to identify the database. But it is not the database name. At Fold3, no one will be able to find a database called “Case Files of Approved Pension Applications…, ca. 1861- ca. 1910.” That string of words represent a collection title from NARA—something that belongs in Layer 1, where the NARA original is cited. When we cite an original in Layer 1 and a website that delivers images in Layer 2, if we mix descriptors from one with the other, then we created a citation that will confuse our readers and ourselves at a later date. Each of the two layers refer to two different things with two different sets of details that describe it; each set of details needs to stay in its own layer.

Incidentally, the reason I left a blank for the page and the Fold3 image number of the Samuel Smith affidavit is that I did not see that affidavit in the file. I assume that either (a) I haven’t had enough coffee yet; or (b) you were just making up an example. In either case, just fill in the blanks.

The Editor

scottrumph
scottrumph's picture

Thank you again for taking such time to write such a detailed and informative response. Yes, the "Samuel" was just a phony name to use for an example as you suspected.

I am going to study this, and mull it over with EE in hand, because I have a lot of these citations to make. 

However, I wanted to say a quick thank you before I take the time to educate myself a bit more and maybe eliminate my need to ask any more questions, and try to avoid questions that are already answered by your response or EE.

Regards,

SHR

 

 

 

EE
EE's picture

You're welcome, SHR. That's what we're here for--to answer questions in a way that encourages further study!

The Editor