autographs in school yearbook

I crafted a citation for a college yearbook with no difficulty (citing it as a book), but I realized that what I am actually referencing in my writing pertains only to a single copy of that yearbook as I am quoting an autograph written into the yearbook and not the yearbook content itself. This particular yearbook is part of an archive of my in-laws papers and memorabilia. I'm thinking now that this completely changes the citation. I'm thinking now that this should be cited as an artifact from their private collection. Am I on the right path?


Submitted byEEon Sun, 09/20/2020 - 10:25

Lynndosch, when we encounter something for the first time, it puzzles us. One helpful approach is to think about other sources we use that have similar traits.

In this case, a comparative would be Family Bibles. When we cite one, we are rarely citing a chapter or verse in the actual Bible. Rather, we are citing something someone wrote into the Bible.

A yearbook autograph works the same way. We cite the yearbook using standard book format, as we would do with a Bible. In the "page/item of interest" field of the citation, we would point to the autograph. Then, as with a Bible, we would add provenance and current whereabouts because, as you point out, that specific copy of the book is "an artifact from [a] private collection."