Federal Census

Is it my imagination or did someone say that EE nor longer requires the citation line (citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M33, roll 57) on the federal census because they are so readily available online? I have continued to include it but now I wonder if it is overkill.

Submitted byEEon Fri, 12/04/2020 - 09:09

Michele, EE's examples still include it, because EE focuses upon the INput side of source identification rather than the OUTput which this-or-that particular publisher may prefer. If we collect all identifying data at input (the moment we are actually using the source), then we don't end up having to go back to the source again later to get what a particular editor wants—or to determine whether the image we consulted was made from this NARA filming of a census or that NARA filming of a census (a quality issue).

Given the ubiquitousness of federal census images online today, the fact that we rarely use the film, and the critical fact that some providers enhance images while others don't, the more essential consideration is to identify the provider. Adding a third layer to the citation, to cite the provider's source (the film) alerts users to the fact that the images were not made from the originals—i.e., our image is a copy of a copy. However, most publications do not add that third layer.