how to cite

 
 
 
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the1gofer
the1gofer's picture
how to cite

I wrote to the Massachusets secritarty of state and they provided a  "copy of record of death" for someone who died in 1850.  Given how I understand records work from that erra, I think they consulted the registry and filled out the certificate.  They provided the year, volume, page and item number for the record.  I'm just not sure what model to use.  It's an official document with seal, so I'm not sure if I should cite it as a certificate or as a register model.

Thanks for your help!

 

EE
EE's picture

The1gofer,

To help others, I'm going to give you a longer answer that describes the thought process you've apparently gone through.

If we write to the state office, not a local office, to get a copy of a vital record, then we cite it as a state-level record. So we turn to EE's chapter 9, "Local & State Records: Licenses, Registrations, Rolls & Vitals. On the backside of the first grey page, we see the list of options titled "Guidelines & Examples." Under the subheading "Vital Registrations: Births, Deaths, Etc.," we skim down to "State-level." Now we're at the point of choosing between "certificate" or "register."

To decide which of those two models to use, we need to ask another question: What did you receive from that state office?  Did they create a "certificate" (using a form into which they entered selected data) or did they make an image of an original register?

The Editor

the1gofer
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Thank you, so certificate it is.  Becuae they do provide the Year, vol, page, and no I feel like I should include it in the citation somehow.  This is how I've done it, but was wondering if their is a better way to do it. 

Massachusets, Copy of Record of Death, (12 May 1907), Ezra James Whiton; Office of the Secrtary of State, Archives Division, Boston. Citing year 1907, Vol 76, Page 198, No. 194.

the1gofer
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Also,  would you consider this an origonal record or a derived record?  I feel like it's derived.  But it is origional from the state. 

EE
EE's picture

Yes, Jason, if a newly created certificate identifies the register from which the data was taken, then we should indeed include that in our citation. That's typically done using "citing... ."  One tweak: The "citing ..." statement needs to be part of the sentence in which the certificate is identified. Remember that when we create a reference note, a period (such as the one you have after "Boston") means the same thing as it does in regular writing. It means Period. End of that. When you put it at the end of a citation, it says I'm done with citing that source. Your reader then assumes that the details of the "new sentence" that begins after the period are the start of details identifying a new and different source.

 

The Editor