Citing a photocopy of an FHL microfilm frame

Dear Editor;

In 2003, I ordered a print of an entry on an FHL microfilm. Recently, I needed to create citation for the image. The type of citations that EE does did not exist at that time. So, I needed to go and do some forensic work to obtain the information from my research notes and the current film catalog. Even with the EE examples, it was still an intimidating task.

I've put together the following citation and would appreciate your feedback.

Source List Entry

“Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire).”  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854.” O.P.R. manuscript no. 328. New Register House, Edinburgh. FHL microfilm, 5 rolls. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

First (Full) Reference

“Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),”  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854,” (O.P.R. manuscript no. 328, New Register House, Edinburgh), “Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854,” years “1850-1,” entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514.

Subsequent (Short) Note

“Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),”  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854,” vol. 6, David Murison, born 7 February 1850.

 

Submitted byEEon Sun, 05/12/2019 - 08:38
History-Hunter, harking back to your last question in a different thread--the issue of when to use quotation marks: you'll recall the rule that when citing manuscripts we put quotation marks around the title of a titled document, to differentiate it from the names of collections, series, and other hierarchical levels within the archival system that houses it. In the ref note above, you have three different items with quotation marks around it. Which one would be the document?

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Sun, 05/12/2019 - 20:22

Dear Editor,

This is why I asked for clarification in my other post. Here each quoted item is an exact quote from the catalog and consists of three or more words. The Parish Registers for Alyth is the document and has quotation marks around it. The rules appear to be conflict and I didn’t see anything in the EE book that helped to clarify the situation. 

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Sun, 05/12/2019 - 20:46

Dear Editor;

I went back to the other post and noted that a response from you appeared to have been inserted prior to the end of the discussion comments.

Do I understand correctly that the three-or-more-word rule gets suspended in citations and that only the document title, if it has one, gets quoted (no matter how many words it contains)?

History-Hunter, this forum inserts a new comment immediately after the comment that is being commented upon. It does not arbitrarily relegate it to the end of the thread.

Re quotation marks:

  • If we are quoting a passage from someone else's piece of writing, then we put quotation marks around any three or more words in a string that we copy from that passage.
  • If we are citing the title of a book, website, journal, or other standalone publication, we don't use quotation marks even though we are copying the title exactly. Instead we use italics.
  • If we are citing the title of an article, a chapter, a database at a website, or another titled part of a standalone publication, then we do put that "part" in quotation marks.
  • If we are citing the title of a titled document or manuscript that is not published, we use quotation marks around the title.
  • If a manuscript or document does not have a title, we have two options to use in lieu of a title: (a) We might copy the first few words of the document followed by an ellipsis and put those words in quotation marks because we are copying a passage from a piece of writing; or (b) we might just generically describe the document in the title field of our template, without using quotation marks.
  • If, in the source of the source field, we copy exactly the citation or part of the citation used by our source—i.e., we are quoting a passage from the long source description given by NARA's or Ancestry's database description—then we use quotation marks to indicate that we are quoting what someone else has written.

Incidentally, these are not EE's "rules." These are standard quotation practices set forth in just about all manuals on research or expository writing.

 

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Sun, 05/12/2019 - 21:15

Dear Editor;

I’ve tried to adjust the quotes to only be around the manuscript name. Unfortunately; this seems to make  some of the parts of the citation look a bit odd, because they were copied from the source description as a block and no longer have the quotes to “contain” them as a unit. Is this a problem?

Source List Entry

Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire).  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854” (O.P.R. manuscript no. 328). New Register House, Edinburgh. FHL microfilm, 5 rolls. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

First (Full) Reference

Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854” (O.P.R. manuscript no. 328), New Register House, Edinburgh, Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854, years 1850-1, entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514.

Subsequent (Short) Note

Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854,” vol. 6, David Murison, born 7 February 1850.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Sun, 05/12/2019 - 21:15

Dear Editor;

I’ve tried to adjust the quotes to only be around the manuscript name. Unfortunately; this seems to make  some of the parts of the citation look a bit odd, because they were copied from the source description as a block and no longer have the quotes to “contain” them as a unit. Is this a problem?

Source List Entry

Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire).  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854” (O.P.R. manuscript no. 328). New Register House, Edinburgh. FHL microfilm, 5 rolls. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

First (Full) Reference

Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854” (O.P.R. manuscript no. 328), New Register House, Edinburgh, Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854, years 1850-1, entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514.

Subsequent (Short) Note

Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854,” vol. 6, David Murison, born 7 February 1850.

Submitted byEEon Mon, 05/13/2019 - 13:55

History-Hunter, scroll up to my message with the six bullet points. If you are using an imaged source, for which your provider has given you source-of-the-source data, then the format would be this:

Layer 1: Cite what you are eyeballing in standard form for that type of record;

Layer 2: Cite the database and website in basic database-website format;

Layer 3: Cite the source-of-the-source.

This Layer 3 is the part that we begin with the word citing ...., followed by the passage that we are copying exactly, with quotation marks around the exact words. We preface that with the word citing to make it clear that everything which follows—be it right or be it wrong—is exactly what our provider is telling us. (And yes, sometimes the providers do misidentify the information.)

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Mon, 05/13/2019 - 17:41

Dear Editor;

I'll have to closer look at what you have written in the bulleted points and the post on the structure. There are points that are valid, even though my circumstances are unusual.

Based on your response, I believe you are assuming that I viewed the record online. That is definitely not the case. The record in question is hardcopy and circa 2003, but still valid. At the time, the EE book did not exist, nor did the Familysearch website have images. There was also no access to a neatly identified “source of the source” that I could simply cut and past between quotation marks.

I should also note that the current FamilySearch site still only provides an index to the entries, unless you access it from a Family History Centre. Usually; one must visit the site, ScotlandsPeople, and pay to access the images. I know doing that avoids the issue of creating this unique citation, but I also can’t afford to buy what I already have.

With this situation in mind, I had really no choice but to cobble together my own “source of source” and try to use the QuickCheck Model for “Preservation Film: FHL-GSU FILM” as a guide.

Luckily; I keep detailed research log entries on all my sources…

Here is my research log information that I recorded from the FHL Catalog for this record:

  • The original physical document is, “O.P.R. manuscript no. 328” and resides in “New Register House, Edinburgh.”
  • That manuscript consists of 6 volumes.
  • Its author is the, “Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire).”
  • It was microfilmed as 2 GSU microfilm reels; 993,513 and 993,514.
  • Although GSU microfilms are generally not considered published documents, the catalogue gives the “publication” information is, “Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1952-1978.”
  • The FHL catalogue shows GSU microfilm 993,513 contains; Baptisms and marriages, v. 1, 1623-1707; Burials, 1624-1651; Baptisms, v. 2, 1712-1765; Marriages, 1712-1754; Baptisms, v. 3, 1766-1819; Marriages and burials, 1786-1819.
  • The FHL catalogue shows GSU microfilm 993,514 contains; 993,514 Marriages, v. 4, 1637-1665; Burials, v. 5, 1688-1736; Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854.
  • From the FHL copy service, I ordered a print of the frame for David Murison, the son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 24 February 1851, found in volume 6 on GSU film 993,514.
  • I am citing what I “eyeballed” on that physical print. 

The question is; how do I use what I have to cite the noted record to EE standards?

Submitted byEEon Mon, 05/13/2019 - 21:25

History-Hunter, if we take our citation from the website, then we do have to identify the website. 

Let's go back to your original ref note:

“Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Alyth (Perthshire),”  “Parish registers for Alyth, 1623-1854,” (O.P.R. manuscript no. 328, New Register House, Edinburgh), “Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854,” years “1850-1,” entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514.

If you had used this film yourself, an appropriate citation would be this:

Church of Scotland, Alyth Parish (Perthshire), Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854, [unpaginated?], baptism entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514; image printout supplied [date] by [identity of person].

In this case you have no document whose title you are copying/quoting; hence no document name would be in quotation marks.

The FHL description of this roll of microfilm (which presumably has not been rewritten since your copy was made in 2003) is this:

From FHL cataloging, we cannot determine whether the phrase "Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854" is the exact title of the volume. If it were the exact title, you might put that in quotation marks; but only if you eyeball the volume and know that is the exact title on the cover. As it is constructed, it appears likely to be merely a catalog description, telling us that it is vol. 6 of a series that runs from 1820 through 1854, rather than an exact volume title.

All the details provided in a catalog description do not have to be included in the citation.

If you had used the film yourself, you would undoubtedly have read the initial frames on the roll to (a) see if the volume's cover was filmed, with exact wording; and (b) extract "source-of-the-source" data, rather than use the cataloging data.

If the person or agency that supplied you with the photocopy did not provide you with a citation, then the  best approach would indeed be to consult the FHL cataloging data and add that data. Doing so would generate a citation such this:

Church of Scotland, Alyth Parish (Perthshire), Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854, [unpaginated?], baptism entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514, for which the catalog description at FamilySearch ( https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/131336 : accessed 13 May 2019) cites "Microfilm of O.P.R. ms. no. 328 in the New Register House, Edinburgh"; image printout supplied [date] by [identification of person].

If the agency or person or agency who provided the photocopy had given you that set of words as the source of the source, then your quoted words from that person's source ID would be placed in the layer that references that person as the provider of the image:

Church of Scotland, Alyth Parish (Perthshire), Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854, [unpaginated?], baptism entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February 1850; FHL microfilm 993,514; image printout supplied [date] by [person], citing "Microfilm of O.P.R. ms. no. 328 in the New Register House, Edinburgh."

One further consideration: If a baptismal book is not paginated, then the date of the baptism would be the more meaningful date in the citation; that would be the date needed to locate the record.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:08

Dear Editor;

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help with this (to me) perplexing situation. Having your example and having read sections 7.19, 7.22 and 7.43, I think I understand. I really appreciate the extra effort you made to walk me through the logic. It makes a world of difference to me, since I really need to see a worked example to assimilate what is in the text of the book.

(In 2003, it was quite common to order prints from Salt Lake. I, many times, couldn't visit a FHL to view the film myself. The LDS copy service never supplied the first frame of a film or a citation. In fact the order forms didn't really allow one to request it. So; at the time (pre-EE) and not knowing any better, I just had to accept it.)

A slight digression...

On viewing the print, one cannot say for sure whether the event dates refer to 1850 or 1851. The top of the page simply has a penned title, "1850-1". There is a penned "68" in the upper right corner. I'm not sure whether this is a recent entry or not. The "hand" is quite different from the entries. The individual entries also do not show the year. Given that this is a parish record and the catalog entry also refers to "baptisms", I would assume the title refers to the baptism year not a birth year. Who knows what the actual birth year was. Lots of assumptions...

I was able to access the ScotlandsPeople index (which is free) and they have indexed David's birth as being in 1851. I've no idea how they determined this from the image.

I may need to see if the local FHL still has the complete film imaged and see if looking at it in context helps.

How, for the present, can I capture this uncertainty in the citation? Do I use an appended note? Is there an "accepted way"?

Submitted byEEon Tue, 05/14/2019 - 19:42

History-Hunter, can you post the image? "Penned" could mean penned by the creator of the register or penned by whoever supplied you with the photocopy. When we get down to nitty-gritty aberrations, it's wise not to issue opinions without seeing the record.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Wed, 05/15/2019 - 13:58

Dear Editor;

I apologize for not starting a new thread for what might be considered to be a new topic. However; I would have had to include a fair amount of background had I done so.

I've uploaded my scan of the LDS print I received for David Murison, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan. I trust this is adequate for the discussion at hand. (I initially named the scans to reflect the line items on the order form with which they are associated. This image name reflects that it was the 6th file on the order sheet and that it was from film 993,514.)

The number "68" in question is in the upper right of the page. It appears to have been added at a different time and by a different person. The handwriting is different and the density of the letters is less than that of the records. For all I know, it could have been a scanning artifact made in pencil, rather than pen. The lines don't have the "sharpness" that I usually expect of records of that time.

While I couldn't expect them to address such questions on an ongoing basis, in this instance ScotlandsPeople have been kind enough to over their assistance in resolving a few things. They confirmed that the date range "1850-1" at the page top is a range of baptism dates and that the baptism of David Murison was in 1851. As a result of their response to my query, I can also say that the number "68" is on their image as well.

Per the ScotlandsPeople site, "Old Parish Register images are black and white images derived from microfilm and stored in a JPEG format." This means the number "68" could still be a "copying mark".

The line  for the birth and baptism of David reads,

"David, Son of David Murison Farmer Cult, and Mary

             Duncan his spouse, born 7th [th superscript over double quote] Feby. and baptised 24 Ditto."

(One thing I also noted was the use of "Ditto" to indicate the baptism being in the same month and year as the birth. I had no idea that this was a term used in in Scotland in the 1850's. I learn something new every day....)

Submitted byEEon Sat, 05/18/2019 - 10:19

Okey-doke. Use png or jpg. Actually, I was asking about the text format in which you were creating the message, but you've defined the issue.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Sun, 05/19/2019 - 09:29

Dear Editor;

Still on road, but checked on this post. Will upload the scan tomorrow. Need to convert it from my standard TIF. Can't do that on the road.

I usually use MSWord to assemble my messages and then I cut-and-paste them into the website window. The site knows they are MSWord and asks to convert them. Hope this is what you needed to know.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Tue, 05/21/2019 - 07:23

Dear Editor;

I tried uploading the image as a JPG rather than TIF. The site will not permit Ito to be uploaded as the site filesize is set to far too small a limit (1 MB). The best I could do with some high-end software was 1.1 MB, and this was rejected. It seems that an upload is not possible.

Here is the message:

 The specified file No. 6-0993514.jpg could not be uploaded.

  • The file is 1.01 MB exceeding the maximum file size of 1 MB.

Submitted byEEon Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:12

H-H,

It's a one page file, over 1MB? Can you not downsize the resolution? That high a res is not necessary for us to understand what's going on in the record.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Tue, 05/21/2019 - 15:51

Dear Editor;

I will have to re-scan the paper copy to reduce the image size further.
As noted, the available software cannot reduce the previously scanned image further.
The original scan was done to a standard of 4000 pixels on the longest side.

Will upload when I have rescanned.
 

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Tue, 05/21/2019 - 16:18

Dear Editor;

The attached image is the best I can do without having something that is illegible due to low resolution.

 

Upload a document

Submitted byEEon Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:04

4000 pixels? Just about every online upload site balks at that! For research you definitely need the best quality possible; but for our needs here, your upload is legible enough. I'll get back with you tomorrow after I've reviewed all this thread.

Submitted byEEon Thu, 05/23/2019 - 11:30

H-H, you've presented a great record for an analysis exercise.  To answer your specific question, which is:

How can I capture this uncertainty (about birth/baptismal date) in the citation? Do I use an appended note? Is there an "accepted way"?

When we cite a source and need to make an analytical comment about it, if the citation is very simple and the comment is simple, we can simply put a semicolon after the basic citation and then add the comment. More often (as in this case), the basic citation and/or the comment are both complex. For clarity, then, it's better to close out the citation sentence and start a new sentence for the analytical comments.

In this case, for the reference note, the citation (which I've adapted a bit; see the red additions) and the added comment might be this:

Church of Scotland, Alyth Parish (Perthshire), Baptisms, marriages and burials, v. 6, 1820-1854, [unpaginated?], section "1850-1," baptism entry for David, son of David Murison and Mary Duncan, born 7 February [no year specified]; baptized "24 ditto" [i.e., April, year not specified]; FHL microfilm 993,514, for which the catalog description at FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/131336 : accessed 13 May 2019) cites "Microfilm of O.P.R. ms. no. 328 in the New Register House, Edinburgh"; image printout supplied [date] by [identification of person].

At least two problems exist with dating in this record. (1) This clerk used "ditto" to refer back to the month in the prior entry. However, the prior entry does not carry a baptismal date. Presuming that the clerk is referencing the last entry for which a baptismal date is given, then the month of baptism would be April. (2) From the structure of the entries on the page, one cannot determine whether the year of birth or baptism would be 1850 or 1851. The website of the National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) also offers this register behind a paywall; the site's database cites the year of birth and baptism as 1851. An inquiry to the staff as to how that year was determined generated a confirmation that 1851 is correct, but the staff did not state how that determination was made.

Whew!

There are other interesting aspects to this page. Would you have a problem with the image being posted to EE’s Facebook page, where we can invite readers to offer other analyses of the page. It would be a great exercise for many who aren’t yet as attuned as you are to the need for analyzing documents.

 

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Thu, 05/23/2019 - 14:20

Dear Editor;

Thank you for your efforts in analyzing this record and the suggested citation. Beyond the obvious challenges, this case illustrates what happens when records are taken out of their original context. Such is the case with many pay-to-view genealogy sites. I suspect that I'll make the effort to go down to the local FHC and see if I can browse more of the digitized film to further define the dates and other required info.

If and when I do, I'll post an update showing what I've found.

---

I note that you are assuming that the "ditto" refers to the baptismal date of the previous record, but it could also refer to the birth month of the same entry. I don't see it used often enough to be sure what the author intended.

I tried analyzing the sequencing of the birth and baptismal months on the page. The first two entries appear to have been December 1850 births and January 1850 baptisms, while the remainder seem to have been 1851 births and 1851 baptisms.

---

I have no issue with posting this as the basis for an academic exercise, which I believe is permissible under the copyright laws of which I am aware. Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Thu, 05/23/2019 - 14:29

Dear Editor;

I made a typo...

It should read;

"The first two entries appear to have been December 1850 births and January 1851 baptisms, while the remainder seem to have been 1851 births and 1851 baptisms."

Note the change to "January 1851 baptisms".