Cemetery Database Citation issue

I'm unsure how best to create a citation for a particular cemetery database for the Councils/Shires in South Australia. The database has been created by the "Local Government Association of South Australia" however they do not host the database. The database is hosted on each different Council/Shire website. From each Council/Shire 'search facility', you can search for a local burial OR extend the search and search for a burial from other Council/Shire areas. I have attached links to several different Council/Shire search pages below:

  • https://www.coppercoast.sa.gov.au/your-community/cemeteries/search-cemetery-records
  • https://www.alexandrina.sa.gov.au/live/cemeteries-and-memorials/cemetery-search

I'm not sure how best to create a citation for this situation. Currently the following is how I have laid out the citation but I'm not sure if I am correct or that my focus should be on the creator or the host of the database.

South Australia Local Government Association, "Cemetery Search for Alexandrina Council Area", database, Alexandrina Council (https://www.alexandrina.sa.gov.au/live/cemeteries-and-memorials/cemetery-search : accessed 15 June 2020), database entry for William Raymond, buried on 30 November 1936.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Submitted byEEon Thu, 06/18/2020 - 09:41

Hi, dsenn:

I used your citation to backtrack to the two websites. The structure of each web site and their search pages is clear enough. What I do not see on these webpages—or on their “home” page or any page along the “path” that takes me from the home page to the search page to the results page—is a discussion of the creation of the database, along with an identity of its creator.  (Admittedly, I have not read every word on every page at each site. Most users won't, either.) When I queried each site’s master search box for “Local Government Association of South Australia,” I received dozens of hits with general news items about the association.

The basic principle for citation is this: Cite what you see. Using the Alexandrina site, what I’m seeing is this:

  • Website Creator               Alexandrina Council
  • Website Title                      Welcome to Alexandrina
  • Database page title:        “Cemetery Search”

On this basis, EE’s citation would begin this way:

      1. Alexandrina Council, "Cemetery Search,” database, Welcome to Alexandrina  (https://www.alexandrina.sa.gov.au/live/cemeteries-and-memorials/cemetery-search : accessed 15 June 2020), database entry for …

At this point, I hit another snag.  Well, several...

  1. The Alexandrina site asks for the name of person and cemetery. Your citation provides name of person and date of burial. There’s no way to cross-search by date of burial. Without knowing the name of a cemetery, the only search option is name + “state wide.” In this case it generated a dozen and a half hits, which is a workable number. With a more common name, this could have generated hundreds of hits. Including the name of the cemetery in the citation would help because it’s an essential element of the search query.
  2. Of those statewide hits, there was no individual with the surname Raymond. All were individuals with the double given name “William Raymond.” One of those died in 1936, as your man did, but his month and day were not the same.
  3. When I tried the same query, reversing the name order to “Raymond, William,” I got no hits.
  4. When I tried both name sequences at the Copper Coast site, I got the same results.

Regarding the Local Government Association of South Australia: if your information about the identity of the creator of the website came from a different source, you might add a sentence to explain the database's origin, along with the citation to the source where others can find that background information.