Published booklet - transcribed account book

I purchased a booklet several years ago in PDF format published by a local historical society. It's supposed to be a transcription of an old store account book in which the owner logged marriages and deaths in a local town in NY.  The original booklet is not paginated, contains no section headers, (nor is there any implied sections. Marriages and deaths are not chronological, alphabetical or even separated into 2 groups). I'm having a hard time putting together the citation.

This is what I have so far.

Marriages and Deaths (with comments) from the Account Book of Darling Whitney and Daniel Darling Whitney of Woodbury, Long Island, New York, 1808-1840: Towns of Huntington and Oyster Bay, (New York: Huntington American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1977, second printing, 1992) PDF, 11, entry for Maria White. This is a transcription from the original account book of Darling and Daniel Darling Whitney of Oyster Bay. "The transcribers have shown the “proper” spelling of an individual’s name when it was known to them, indicated by brackets. Information that was not in the original book but was included to the published version is underlined. There are no page numbers in the original book".

Questions :

1. The booklet is unpaginated. Is it acceptable to substitute the PDF page number and then explain in a in the subsequent note that the original was not paginated?

2. Should I include the names of the three transcribers?

title page

inside page

Submitted byEEon Sun, 05/17/2020 - 10:18

Eventide, you've done an excellent job of analyzing what you are using, to understand its strengths and weaknesses. From the citation standpoint, let's go back to basics: a book or booklet (it does not matter what size the book is) follows the basic book format:

Author/compiler, Title of Publication (Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication), page no.

You've done that, except for citing the compilers whose identities definitely should be noted. Aside from the point of giving credit where due, their reputations for skill (or sometime a lack of it) is essential to the analysis of the work and its reliability.

When you say that the work is a PDF, I assume you are using it in a digital form. If so, then we still need to identify the media in which you are using those PDF images: CD, thumb drive, online access etc.

Regarding the lack of page numbers, EE 12.14 "Page Numbers, Missing" states:

Most published books are paginated. When you use one that is not, you should state the absence of pagination and look for some means by which the specific page can be identified.

"Looking for some means" is what you've done. Your explanation would be clearer if, in that page numbered field, you stated:

... unnumbered pages, PDF image 11, entry for Maria White.

One other point might be clarified. In your description of the source and its strengths and weaknesses, you end with a long sentence that carries quotation marks; but you don't say where the quote comes from. The preface?

Submitted byEventideon Sun, 05/17/2020 - 17:08

The PDF is on my hard drive. I got it so long ago I don't remember the details of exactly how I obtained it. I think I purchased it from the historical society, but its also possible a relative sent me a copy of theirs. Not sure if or what I need to state in the citation.

The quote came from the preface of the book and thought it would be important to include since it spells out exactly what changes have been made. It sure makes for a long citation though!

Here's another stab at it:

Vivian Kerns, Janet Spada, Sue DeLaney, transcribers, Marriages and Deaths (with comments) from the Account Book of Darling Whitney and Daniel Darling Whitney of Woodbury, Long Island, New York, 1808-1840: Towns of Huntington and Oyster Bay. (New York: Huntington American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1977, second printing, 1992) PDF, unnumbered pages, PDF page 11, entry for Maria White. This is a transcription from the original account book of Darling and Daniel Darling Whitney of Oyster Bay. The preface states "The transcribers have shown the “proper” spelling of an individual’s name when it was known to them, indicated by brackets. Information that was not in the original book but was included to the published version is underlined."

Submitted byEEon Mon, 05/18/2020 - 09:02

Ah, the lessons we learn the hard way!  With a PDF, it does make a difference as to where/how we obtained the record. If from a third party, we have no assurance that all the original publication is there or that something has not been altered. Alterations are easy to make with PDFs used outside of DRM (digital rights management) software.

At this point, making do with what you've got, your analysis of essentials is good. Everything is there, somewhere, and most of it is in the logical place. A bit of redundancy could be eliminated to shorten the quite long citation. EE's tweaks would be these.

         1. Vivian Kerns, Janet Spada, Sue DeLaney, transcribers, Marriages and Deaths (with Comments) from the Account Book of Darling Whitney and Daniel Darling Whitney of Woodbury, Long Island, New York, 1808-1840: Towns of Huntington and Oyster Bay, PDF ed. (1977; reprint, New York: Huntington American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1977, second printing, 1992) PDF, unnumbered pages, PDF page p. 11, entry for Maria White. This small publication is a transcription from the original account book of Darling and Daniel Darling Whitney of Oyster Bay. The preface states "The transcribers have shown the 'proper' spelling of an individual’s name when it was known to them, indicated by brackets. Information that was not in the original book but was included to [sic] the published version is underlined."

Reasons:

  • "Edition" data for a published work is always placed between the title and the publication data. See examples at EE 2.32, 3.18, 7.32, 7.34, 7.43, 10.18, 12.18, 12.43, 12.47, 12.50–52, 12.60, 12.75, as well as the QuickCheck Models on pp. 651 and 655.
  • For the placement of data about reprinting, see the first example at 12.75 "Reprints & Revisions: Basic Format."
  • When we quote material, we put quotation marks around it, as you did. If the passage we are quoting has its own internal quotation marks, then we replace the internal marks with half-quote marks to show a clear distinction between the marks we are adding and the marks that are in the original.  (FYI, this is not an EE rule. This is standard practice as dictated by all U.S. English grammar manuals. See, for example, https://www.scribendi.com/advice/when_to_use_double_or_single_quotation_marks.en.html )
  • Also within the quote, where the transcriber's preface uses a word ungrammatically, a [sic] would let your reader know that you did not make a copying error (and inform yourself at a later date after your recollection of the source has gone cold).