"Digital images" v. "Digital image"

EE seems to use "digital images" for the most part, if not exclusively, while the Ancestry Quicksheet several times uses "digital image."  Does it matter?  If so, what are the guidelines for using each one?

Submitted byEEon Thu, 11/15/2012 - 16:17


Newonash, as with life in general, whether we plurarize a word depends upon whether we are referring to multiple items or just one item. For comparison:

Ancestry example for Censuses: Images. 

The source list entry generically cites the census and uses the term "images" (plural) because the generic citation embraces many images. The reference note cites the census all the way down to the specific page of interest and then states that the specific page we viewed is a digital image (singular). It would be grammatically incorrect, as well as misleading to the research process, to refer to that one page as "images."

Ancestry example for  Immigration-Emigration Rolls: Image

This is a different situation—the same situation you queried about in one of your other messages. Ancestry has created an arbitrarily assembled collection of twelve different NARA record sets, none of which are adequately identified. Therefore, our citation must be constructed to feature Ancestry's "collection" rather than the original records. The source-list entry cites the title of the Ancestry collection and specifically states that it consists of both "database and images." In the reference note, after we cite the title, we specify that what we are using from that Ancestry title is its collection of "images." Once we cite that collection, down through the URL and date, we identify the specific item of interest. The citation has already said that the collection is a set of images; therefore, after citing the specific item, it would be redundant to say again that the item was an image (singular).