Unpublished family autobiography

 
 
 
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Tami Mills
Tami Mills's picture
Unpublished family autobiography

Just when you think you have an understanding of how to cite your genealogy documents something else pops up. My grandfather wrote an account of his life including information about our ancestors, location history and a hand-drawn map of his childhood hometown, which no longer exist. Footnotes were included as to where he found information on our ancestors. He typed up this account in a book form giving it a title and then gave each one of his children a copy. Many years after receiving his copy, my dad typed the book into his computer, added pictures and increased the font size to make it 84 pages and had it printed and bound into a book. Copies of this book was then distributed to the Allen County Library, Fort Wayne Concordia Seminary, Perry County Historical Lutheran Society and various other friends and family members. There is valuable information and great genealogy stories that I would like to reference in my genealogy records. My question is how do I cite it? I have ruled out a book because there is no publisher. I am debating among citing it as a 3.5 unpublished narrative, 3.25 private family artifact, or 3.30 family records (non-Bible). I am still new to understanding citations and have combed through my Evidence Explained book that I think I have myself a bit confused as to how to cite this book. Any help or advice wouldbe greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

 

 

EE
EE's picture

Tami, if he had it printed and bound and distributed it to libraries, then it's a published book—typicallly called "self-published" or "privately printed." The publisher is your grandfather.  Turn to EE 12.8 and 12.20.

The Editor

Tami Mills
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My grandfather wrote the book. Then after my grandfather's death, my dad transcribed the book, added pictures, and had the book printed and it was my father who distributed the book to the libraries. So would I use my grandfather as the author and my dad as the transcriber (12.9) and publisher?

EE
EE's picture

Tami, sorry I didn't see this message sooner.  By "transcribe," should we assume you mean that your father typed (or retyped) what your grandfather wrote, then added pictures, etc.? If so, it's likely that your father (as most do, in that situation) also tidied up the grammar, spelling, and punctuation, along with adding material. Even if he faithfully rendered the original version, with no alterations (which is what transcription means), the fact that he added material goes beyond transcription. It would seem appropriate to identify your father's role as "editor." You might also identify him as the publisher or, more simply, use "Privately printed" in the publisher field.

The Editor

Wibbus
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I am struggling with how to cite an artifact similar to Tami's.  It is a family history that was mimeographed and distributed to family, but not to libraries, so I  don't think it qualifies as "published."  Or does it?  

I think it could be described as an "authored manuscript" (3.29), but it is not a journal or a diary.  Or would Family Records (Non-BIble) (3.30) be better?

Since it is written as a narrative, maybe I should describe it as an Unpublished Manuscript (3.22).

Thank you in advance for advising me.

EE
EE's picture

Wibbus, as you describe it ("a family history that was mimeographed and distributed to family, but not to libraries"), it would be considered an "authored manuscript."  We would use "Family Records (Non-Bible)" for, say, a handed-down sheet or two on which someone listed births, marriages, and deaths in the manner in which they would be entered into a Bible, with no attempt to write a narrative or historical account of the people.

The Editor

Rob.Ash
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This intrigued me.  I have written a large book fully evidenced with pictures and proof but for family use only. A copy will be given to most current members (about 10 people). As it has current generation name and birth date details in it I was concerned about submitting for publishing and putting in a library for anyone to get those current details.

I have written it with a standard good enough for publishing.  Should I therefore put in Preface page that it is 'self printed', so if future generations find it in grandmas cupboard and want to do the same to submit to a library.

Rob

 

RoS

EE
EE's picture

Rob, the title page of the book is where a book is expected to identify the title, author, publisher, place of publication, and date.

When we do not use a publisher, the standard phrase to go in that position on the title page is "privately printed." EE 12.40 offers further suggestions for handling these situations—including possible placement of the author's contact information on the copyright page (backside of the title page).

The Editor