Paper Documents

Looking for opinion. I am in the process of digitizing original paper documents that have recently come into my possession. I am entering the data into software and citing everything. The paper documents are going into plastic sleeves/boxes. I am putting an acid-free sticker on the front of each sleeve with a unique ID, short description and a citation. However some of the citations are quite long and I am having trouble fitting onto what is already a very large sticker.

Is this a situation where typically a full citation including provenance and notes regarding quality/issues with information is necessary? Or is the basic citation enough for this purpose?


Submitted byEEon Sun, 08/09/2020 - 08:17

V V, if the paper document is worth saving, isn't it worth preserving the provenance data? How about putting a second into the sleeve with the full citation?

Submitted byagilchreston Sun, 08/09/2020 - 11:02

 Hi VV,

I put my documents into sleeves and then in an archival folder. I write my citation or at the very least the providence and any notes about the document on the file folder. No need for labels. Then I log everything in Zotero including where the document is located.

Submitted byTheCounton Mon, 08/10/2020 - 07:57
I chose not to use folder because I wanted quick easy access. I thought about printing on the back of the card stock that is behind the document but it is too big for printer. I also have two-page documents so if I put one document on each side then I can't do that. I will just print with very small type so it doesn't cover document too much. EE - one more question if you will. What about notes ? I assume those should be there also? Thank you for your opinions.

Submitted byEEon Mon, 08/10/2020 - 16:20

V V, researchers handle their "research notes" in various ways. Personally, I do not put research notes onto my documents. All my research notes and analyses of documents are within research reports that focus on a specific topic or person. (See QuickLesson 20.) The documents that I file away—digitally or physically—are "clean copies" except for the added source citation to identify the document.

Submitted byTheCounton Tue, 08/11/2020 - 07:54

Makes sense and something to think about. I rarely add notes but some documents have problems with conflicting data.

For example: The physician writes on the death certificate that Uncle Vlad died on the 10th, but he last saw him alive on the 11th. So either the doctor wrote the wrong date or Uncle Vlad was a vampire. My note will only point out the discrepancy, not any conclusions for that data.

This is not to argue. I am just thinking through the issues. Looks to me like all will fit at 7 pt type.

Again, thank you.


Submitted byEEon Wed, 08/12/2020 - 09:32

TheCount, analytical notes like that are critically important. If you wish to put it on the label, it would help others down the road who may not pay as much attention to details or may not understand the significance of resolving discrepancies.