GenealogyBank

 
 
 
19 posts / 0 new
Last post
tpgentry
tpgentry's picture
GenealogyBank

When citing an obituary from GenealogyBank.com do I cite it as a transcription or archive? And where in the citation does the word transcription or archive go? It's not a digital image of the newspaper. Does the page number go after the name of the newspaper or do I need to add "citing original page A-14" to the end. On subsequent notes, since there is no author do I just use "Eugene J. Shiell," obituary or do I need to add more info? (Sorry for all the questions, but I'm just getting into genealogy and would rather get everything right the first time rather than have to go back and change it all later.) Thanks!

What I have so far:

First Reference Note

"Eugene J. Shiell," obituary, Evening Tribune (San Diego), 7 February 1989, A-14; Genealogybank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 11 November 2013).

Subsequent Note

"Eugene J. Shiell," obituary.

Source List Entry

California. San Diego. Evening Tribune, 1989.

http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/obituaries/doc/obit/v1:134BDC05A7234980-134BDC05A7524CA8?&s_dlid=DL0113111115124525799&s_ecproduct=SUB-Y-6995-R.IO-30&s_ecprodtype=RENEW-A-R&s_trackval=&s_siteloc=&s_referrer=&s_subterm=Subscription%20until%3A%2002%2F08%2F2014&s_docsbal=%20&s_subexpires=02%2F08%2F2014&s_docstart=&s_docsleft=&s_docsread=&s_username=tracy2663@att.net&s_accountid=AC0113011002202430139&s_upgradeable=no

 

EE
EE's picture

tpgentry:

The basic rule for every citation to every kind of source is this: Cite what you use.  You state that you have used a transcription from a website. You didn't use the newspaper. You don't know how the newspaper titled the obituary, so you can't hypothesize what that title might have been and put your conjectured title in quotation marks. The transcript that you are using does carry a title that's significantly different; and that one, created by the online provider, is definitely not the title that would have appeared in the newspaper.

So, you cite what you have: a transcript in a database at a website, which says it took it's information from thus-and-such.

You seem to be following EE 14.22's example for "Newspapers (Online Images)." What you need to use is the next example—the one headed "Newspapers (Online Transcripts)."

The Editor

katidid19
katidid19's picture

I have a specific question about the "Newspapers (Online Transcripts)" example. I am trying to cite newspaper articles contained within a database that I access through my local library's website. The database is NewsBank and the product is America's News. I don't think the articles are transcribed by a person. I think they are transcribed using OCR or they are digital archives of the newspapers. It contains newspapers from 1978 to present. Either way, I still think I should use the online transcripts example because it's not digital images, but I'm not sure how to word the citation. Also, the article I would like to cite is titled "Obituaries - Monday, September 6th, 1999." There are several obituaries contained within the article so I think I would need to state the person of interest. I'm not sure where I should say that, so if you could review the below citations and let me know if they cover everything required.

Source List Entry:

"Obituaries - Monday, September 6th, 1999." Transcribed. NewsBank. America's News.                http://infoweb.network.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/news/12621792BA8B1F20p=NewsBank : 2015.

1st Reference Note:

          "Obituaries - Monday, September 6th, 1999," transcribed, NewsBank, America's News (http://infoweb.network.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/news/12621792BA8B1F20?p=NewsBank : accessed 15 Aug 2015), Obituary for Ruby Oma Alexander; citing original publication in the Daily Ardmoreite (Oklahoma), 06 Sep 1999.

Thank you for your dedication to Genealogy,

Kati

K. Cain

EE
EE's picture

Kati, you've fairly well grasped the principles involved in creating the reference note. So, let's just tweak it a bit.

  • Your URL is unworkable for anyone who does not have library access to that database. Have you seen the example at 6.19 for citing something accessed through a library subscription site?
  • If the data is OCR'd, it would be more appropriate to say "OCR text" or something similar, rather than "transcribed."
  • The titles of websites and newspaper, like those of books, need to be italicized in the ref note.
  • In the Source List Entry, you probably would not want to be as item-specific as just one article. If you're using NewsBank's America's News, odds are that your research project will include multiple finds. EE would eliminate the first two elements of the Source List Entry and begin it with NewsBank.
  • And, of course, standard English does still call for putting periods after abbreviations such as the names of months.  (And yes, software engineers, back in the 64K days, got in the habit of ignoring the need for using periods to indicate abbreviations. But, we're historians and writers and we no longer work on 64K computers, so their practices don't apply to our research and writing.)

The Editor

katidid19
katidid19's picture

No, I had not seen the example at 6.19. I have the digital version on my computer only and two children under three so I have not been able to read from start to finish, yet (the index is my best friend). I will use "OCR text." I will italicized the appropriate parts. I'm not sure why I included the title of the article in the Source List Entry. And I promise that if and when I submit anything for publication or produce anything for a client, I will use periods to indicate abbreviations (my mother is an English teacher and my editor so I won't be able to forget).

K. Cain

EE
EE's picture

Katidid19,

Your promise is accepted. Your mother will be pleased.  It's also a truism that when we move into a new field and we see some others doing xyz, we tend to follow what we see and forget the "rules" we learned elewhere in life. But, of course, in the field of historical research, the disregard of basic punctuation that we see in our software is not a standard for historical research. It's a relic of the pioneer days in the IT industry, when space was so limited that punctuation and other niceties were dispensed with.

The Editor

Jan_S
Jan_S's picture

I need to cite several obituary transcriptions from GenealogyBank.Com and Legacy.com.

Using 14.22, is the following format adequate:

"[Title]," obituary, transcript by Legacy.com ([web address] : accessed [date]); citing [newspaper name], [place], [date].

 

Thanks for any help.

EE
EE's picture

Jan, EE 14.22 is a citation example for an actual newspaper article. If you viewed an actual obituary (the full original obituary), then it would be appropriate to use 14.22’s print-edition examples to cite the obituary.

Given that you did not supply actual examples, my response from this point on will generically discuss the offerings of the two commercial websites you cited.

If you viewed that full obituary, via an image at a commercial site such as GenealogyBank.com, and that commercial site provided you with a citation to the original newspaper, then you would have a layered citation:

  • Layer 1, the original newspapaer article, following 14.22’s print-edition examples
  • Layer 2, the online database and commercial site via which you accessed the newspaper; and
  • Layer 3, whatever source-of-the-source data the commercial site gave you.

In your question, you referred to citing a "transcription" by GenealogyBank, but I'm presuming here that you are actually using the image that is being delivered to you.

At the Legacy.com site, you aren’t citing any transcription made by Legacy.com. All Legacy is doing is providing a link. The text you are reading was created by the Washington Post—its online edition, rather than print edition. Therefore, you would follow the HTML-edition example at 14.22. There is no need to include Legacy.com in the citation any more than you would include Google in a citation to an online article simply because Google supplied a link to the article.

The Editor

Jan_S
Jan_S's picture

Thank you for your response. In both cases, I was looking at a typed transcription of the obituary and not an image of the obituary.

Here would be the example from Legacy:  http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/heraldtribune/obituary.aspx?pid=174663349

Legacy is given as the website but the newspaper is the Herald Tribune. 

I should have been clearer. I wasn't using the first example under 14.22 but rather the example headed "Newspapers (Online Transcripts)". 

EE
EE's picture

Jan, the website to which that link takes us is not a Legacy website. It's the Herald Tribune's own website, where it provides an HTML version (likely a synopsis, rather than a transcription) of the printed obituary. In providing this online obit, the Herald Tribune also cites the dates that the full obituary appeared in its printed edition, though not the specific pages for each date.

This is an HT-authored obit at its own website, not a Legacy transcription. If we check the tabs that appear on that page, they're to other HT materials, not Legacy materials. If we check the footer that appears on that webpage, it carries an HT copyright, not a Legacy copyright.

Yes, the URL includes "Legacy" but we cannot say "Legacy is given as the website." As a parallel: we could run this URL through Bitly and end up with a URL that includes Bitly's name (http://bit.ly/1ECAran), but it would not make this page a Bitly website and it would not make the material there a Bitly creation.  The Google analogy that I used yesterday still describes Legacy's role in this instance and it still describes the lack of responsibility that Legacy has for the content on which you are relying.

For this Herald Tribune article, the best example to use would be 14.22's Newspaper Articles (Online Archives) example.

Can you supply a link for the "transcription" you are using at GenealogyBank?  Given that GenealogyBank does offer images, what would be the advantage of citing the "transcription"?

 

The Editor

Jan_S
Jan_S's picture

The obituary does not appear to be on the Herald Tribune's website. If you go to Herald Tribune website: http://www.heraldtribune.com , then go to Obituaries - Archived Obituaries, you are taken offsite to Legacy.com. It appears that perhaps Legacy has a contract with them to maintain their obituary archives.  If you check http://www.legacy.com/ns/about/newspapers/ , they have links to many other newspapers. They call them their U.S. Newspaper Partners. So if it's not a transcript, is Legacy.com a repository?

Here is a link to a GenealogyBank obituary. GenealogyBank does let you know how to source it - but I don't know if they have sourced it correctly:  http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/11A0F62B26C8AE30-11A0F62B26C8AE30

EE
EE's picture

Jan, for certain, this digital age has created no end of confusion for researchers as they try to identify their sources!

As you say, if we click the "Obituaries" tab at the newspaper's website, it takes us to a URL that contains "Legacy.com" as well as "HeraldTribune."  However, we don't determine the creator of content from a URL. We determine the creator of material by studying the material itself.

In this case:

  • When we eyeball the page itself, we see that it is the website format of the Herald Tribune—not the website format of Legacy.com
  • When we click tabs on that page, all tabs lead us to other Herald Tribune material—not to other Legacy.com material.
  • When we scroll down to the bottom of the page, we see three credit lines:
    1. "Powered by Legacy.com ..."; this line does ends in "© Legacy.com," but that speakes to the copyright on the "powered by ..." aspect—essentially, the search engine.
    2. "Contact us ... [and other links]" which are all Herald Tribune links.
    3. "Copyright 2013 HeraldTribune.com," which is the copyright on the content.

You also write:

 If you check http://www.legacy.com/ns/about/newspapers/ , they have links to many other newspapers. They call them their U.S. Newspaper Partners. So if it's not a transcript, is Legacy.com a repository?

The URL does not work for me. The answer to your question, though, is No. Legacy.com is not a repository. Legacy's credit line on the site of each newspaper partner tells us its function: "Powered by ...." That function is much the same as what we see when we use digitized books at, say, FamilySearch, where each book image page is headed at the top by "ExLibris Rosetta."  ExLibris Rosetta is not the name of the content creator; it's the functionality provided by the ExLibris Group that enables us to read a book created by another author.

If you prefer to add a layer to your citation to identify, in your working notes, the company whose search engine you are using, there's no reason why you can't. They're you're working notes. However, it's not an essential part of the citation and would be dropped by most editors at publication time.



I'll address the Genealogy.bank issue separately. It's a quite different entity.

The Editor

EE
EE's picture

Jan, the GenealogyBank link you provide (accessible only through a subscription) is indeed GB's own transcription. As you've pointed out, GB also suggests a way to cite it:

"St. Petersburg Times", Florida, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/11A0F62B26C8AE30-11A0F62B26C8AE30 : accessed 21 August 2015)

Schocklin, William F.

The suggested citation does omit several critical elements and, from EE's perspective, it muddles the elements that are included. That muddling allows for misinterpretation by those who later use the citation. 

The main problem is with the first element of the citation.

  • The newspaper's name in quotation marks before the name of the website implies that the St. Petersburg Times is an entity of GenealogyBank itself (which it isn't) or that GB has a database carrying that title.
  • The field of the citation that should explain what those quoted words represent is missing, but "St. Petersburg Times" is not the name of an accessible database at GB.   We don't access that obituary by going to that database. We access it through a generic query box for name of person. Even if we go to GB's list of newspapers in the "Recent Newspapers" subset, we don't find the St. Petersburg Times listed.  If we choose another newspaper name and click on it, we don't get a database for that particular newspaper. Instead, we're back at the generic query box.

An Evidence Style citation to this source would be:

"Schocklin, William F.," obituary transcript, GenealogyBank.com ((http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/11A0F62B26C8AE30-11A0F62B26C8AE30 : accessed 21 August 2015); citing St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, Thursday, 28 June 2007; this URL is accessible only through subscription.

Note that
  • Italics are used for the name of the newspaper and the name of the website, following long-standing practice for the titles of standalone publications.
  • The title of GB's "article" is now the lead element, and the field following it tells us what kind of entity we are dealing with here at the website.
  • Layer 2 identifies not only the newspaper but also the date of the issue in which the obituary was published—a necessary element omitted from the suggested publication.
  • When a newspaper's title does not give its location, the longstanding practice—used by not only EE but also Chicago and other standard guides—is for the missing locational name to be inserted in the title in its "natural" place, putting parentheses around the addition. (EE 14.11; Chicago 14.210).
  • Because the URL is not workable for nonsubscribers, you might want to make note of that in a final layer.

 

 

The Editor

Jan_S
Jan_S's picture

Thank you! I think I finally get it - or am on my way to getting it. 

EE
EE's picture

Jan, you are thinking through all the details, from all angles, just as you should. Technology has immensely complicated our evaluation of information accessed online. That willingness to think through all the issues. and carefully scrutinize what we use, makes a significant difference in how well we filter material that's reliable from material that's misleading.

The Editor

History Hunter
History Hunter's picture

Dear Editor;

The HTML example in "Newspaper Articles (Online Archives), page 808, appears to be close to what is needed to document an obituary accessed via Legacy.com. My genealogical software provides templates that I typically have to adjust to track with recommendations contained in Evidence Explained. Sometimes this adjustment involves typing data in a certain way and sometimes it requires changes to the template. The purpose of this post is to determine what changes, if any, are needed.

After reading the previous posts in this thread, I "had a go" at trying to select a suitable stock template and, within the limits of its input screen, tried preparing a citation for information accessed via Legacy.com. I them went back and checked that there appeared to be enough information present to access the obituary again.

I'm wondering if the following output from the program is suitable or whether I need to make further changes.

Footnote: "ELLA HOFFOS," obituary, Vancouver (British Columbia) Sun, 18 November 2006; online archives (http://www.legacy.com/ : accessed 7 May 2017). States that Ella died on 11 November 2006 at the age of 89 years, as well as provides family and biographical details.

Short Footnote: "ELLA HOFFOS."

Bibliography: "ELLA HOFFOS." Vancouver Sun. 18 November 2006. Online archives. http://www.legacy.com/ : 2017.

In addition to any comments you may have, I would like to ask two specific questions:

  • Obituaries often don't have true titles and the "Short Footnote" is not very informative. Am I free to create a title that reads, "Obituary - HOFFAS, Ella"?
  • Should my notes about the content of the obituary be bracketed by "[" and "]"?
EE
EE's picture

HistoryHunter, whatever short form we use, it should be enough to give the reader an inkling of what it is. As you say, obituaries commonly have no "title" other than the person's name. If a name is used as a title, then the common practice is to use that, in quote marks (but not all caps), coupled with the word obituary. Short-form examples from EE (14.22 and QC Model p. 105, respectively) include

  • "Frank Austin, Sr.," obituary, Burlingame Enterprise, 19 May 1898
  • G. B. Wuster obituary,  Zella (Lovell) Stabler Scrapbook.

Regarding the second layer of your citation, the identification of the website at which you found the obituary: Where, at Legacy's website would someone find this obit?  If this is a situation in which Legacy provided a hint or a link to a different site, then the other site is the provider.

The Editor

History Hunter
History Hunter's picture

Dear Editor;

The actual electronic copy of the obituary seems to be on the Legacy site itself.

The obituary is found at:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/vancouversun/obituary.aspx?n=Ella-Hoffos&pid=19948917

or, if using the "printable" form:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/vancouversun/obituary-print.aspx?n=ella-hoffos&pid=19948917

The previous URLs seem to indicate that the content is associated with Legacy.com and not with the newspaper site itself, which would be http://vancouversun.com

It appears that Legacy.com is a site that is owned by the, "Postmedia Network Inc.," and all their newspaper sites hot-link to it. (One can also go directly to the Legacy.com site, which I did, in order to perform a search across all the Postmedia holdings.

I should note that the footer of the Legacy.com site bears a Postmedia Network Inc.copyright that appears to include the "Obits" on the Legacy.com site. That is, they are not owned by an individual newspaper itself.

Since, I didn't know how stable the link to the actual obituary might be in future, I used the URL for the Legacy.com search engine on the main page, knowing that the correct obituary can be accessed from their using the name of the person in question.

All this said and done; it appears that the text of the obituary cited was originally published in the "Vancouver Sun", but the electronic copy is archived and accesed on the Legacy.com server.

This makes it a bit confusing for me. How should it be handled?

EE
EE's picture

The digital age has definitely complicated our citations, hasn't it?  So how do you handle this new information you've learned about Legacy.com and the "co-branded" site it sets up for each newspaper? Let's go back to your original draft and strike one phrase:

"ELLA HOFFOS," obituary, Vancouver (British Columbia) Sun, 18 November 2006; online archives (http://www.legacy.com/ : accessed 7 May 2017). States that Ella died on 11 November 2006 at the age of 89 years, as well as provides family and biographical details.

One simple alteration would fix it:

"Ella Hoffos," obituary, Vancouver (British Columbia) Sun, 18 November 2006; digital edition accessed through Legacy (http://www.legacy.com/ : accessed 7 May 2017). States that Ella died on 11 November 2006 at the age of 89 years, as well as provides family and biographical details.

The Editor