Citing newspapers sourced from

I'm trying to follow the example of the citation structure given in section EE 14.22 for citing images of Newspaper Articles, regardless of source, in order to introduce more regularity into the way I cite newspapers.

The example is causing me some confusion, since there doesn't seem to be an, "Historic Newspaper Collection" on and I believe one needs more than just the site name and URL to create a functional citation.

Would the following approach work, in order to make it a bit easier to locate the article?

(I should note that I am using "Free-form" citations in RootsMagic 7, which automatically adds a period to the end of every citation entry. I've also used the RM7 <I>...</I> syntax to cause a phrase to be be placed in italics and its terminology for the elements of the overall citation. Formatting this way facilitates cutting and pasting.)


Death announcement for Thomas Baird Murison, <i>Ottawa Journal</i>, 5 March 1958, p. 30, col. 2; image copy, <i>Ancestry</i> ( : accessed 26 April 2019), “Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885-1980”

Short Footnote

Death announcement for Thomas Baird Murison, <i>Ottawa Journal</i>, 5 March 1958


Canada. Ontario. <i>Ottawa Journal</i>, 1885–1980

Submitted byEEon Thu, 06/10/2021 - 15:58

Hello, History-Hunter,

In every edition of EE, there are examples for website collections that are no longer in existence. That's the nature of the Internet. Providers giveth and providers taketh away; and publishers don’t indulge author-requests to revise and reprint books each time a cited provider changes its offering.  That particular collection at Ancestry was dropped after Ancestry spun off its newspaper collection into a separate website  The example is also slated for replacement in the next edition of EE—whenever that next edition happens. It is still being used, however, by individuals who downloaded information from that Ancestry collection while it existed as such.

In the meanwhile, our QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry Databases & Images (2019) offers an example comparable to your situation. Following that pattern would give us this:

Ottawa  (Ontario) Journal, 6 March 1958, cols. 1–2, “Deaths: Murison, Thomas Baird”; imaged in “Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885–1980,” database with images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 June 2021). 

In this example, I’m not using your 2019 date, because I have no idea how the database was structured on that date in 2019. I am citing to what I used just now.

You'll also notice that the newspaper date in this citation is 6 March, rather than 5 March. The 5 March date is used in the Ancestry database for the date of the death. But the announcement appeared on 6 March.

If you wish to lengthen the citation to include Ancestry’s collection number, rather than citing to the home page, then you would have this:

Ottawa  (Ontario) Journal, 6 March 1958, cols. 1–2, “Deaths: Murison, Thomas Baird”; imaged “Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885–1980,” Ancestry ( : accessed 10 June 2021). 

This also follows EE 14.22’s example for citing a newspaper obituary. Citing the image requires only that we add a layer to cite the provider using the basic pattern for citing Ancestry and other websites:

; imaged in "Title of Database, Article, or Collection," Title of Website (URL : date), specific item or image number, if needed.

As you’ll notice at 14.22, EE does not recommend beginning a citation to a newspaper article with a generic description or contrived title such as your “Death announcement for Thomas Baird.” Obituaries and other articles in newspapers are more easily found if the exact title is used.

If this is the only citation you have to that newspaper and you wish to feature the exact title of the article in both your reference notes and your source list, then the result would be:

"Deaths: Murison, Thomas Baird," Ottawa  (Ontario) Journal, 6 March 1958, cols. 1–2; imaged in “Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885–1980,” database with images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 June 2021). 

The short form (Subsequent Reference Note), following the examples at both EE 14.22 and the QuickSheet, would be

Ottawa  (Ontario) Journal, 6 March 1958, cols. 1–2.


"Deaths: Murison, Thomas Baird," Ottawa  (Ontario) Journal, 6 March 1958, cols. 1–2.


Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Thu, 06/10/2021 - 18:06

Thank you for the thorough explanation and, in particular, the examples. I had tinkered with my proposed format for a while and could still see some potential for confusion, so I thought I'd best ask.

I should note that the issue with the date-of-publication vs. the event-date is a headache for me, because the same obituary was actually published on both the 5th (his date of death) and 6th, but on different pages, in different columns and in different newspapers. (Ancestry seems to only have some of the material.) It seems that my grandfather (Thomas Baird) was a very popular person. So much so that on those dates there were also short articles about him in the local newspapers.

I was not aware that the QuickSheet was more up-to-date than the revised edition of the EE book. Might I suggest that it would be helpful to post the most current versions of the book and various quick sheets? That would make it simple to check if what one has might be out-of-date and needs to be augmented or replaced.

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Thu, 06/10/2021 - 18:32

Just to make sure I purchase the most recent version of the noted QuickSheet, could you confirm that the following item is the one to which you referred?

QuickSheet: Citing Databases & Images. 2nd Edition Rev., Revised by Elizabeth Shown Mills; 4 pp; 2019, Laminated folded sheet; ISBN: 9780806318677

Hmhh. If you bought 9780806318677, then you did not buy the laminated folder. You would have bought the Kindle download.  The laminated folder is 978-0-8063-2096-0.

In any case, yes, you have the latest.

Actually; I was trying to determine the most recent version of the QuickSheet and where I could get it. I was happy to hear that it is available as a Kindle download. That would be ideal for me, as it costs more than half the cost of the item to ship the print version from the United States.

Is the Kindle version also 2019 and at revision 2? I could only find a 2010 edition on Amazon-Kindle Store. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place?

Submitted byHistory-Hunteron Thu, 06/10/2021 - 19:16

Just a few small questions...

1) In re-reading your examples, I note that none of them contain a page number. It seems that a page number is required. Was not including "p. 30" just a simple oversight?

2) I note that you state the column as, "cols. 1-2." Was this done to reflect that the "Deaths" section is comprised of the first and second columns, even though the "Deaths: Murison, Thomas Baird" obituary is entirely in col. 2? That could make it difficult to find the item, if the section were to span more columns. This is not a criticism, but I am having some trouble grasping the principle involved. I would have thought that as one traverses the first clause of the citation the individual references would increasingly "zero in" on the specific article/item e.g. paper, issue, page, column and then title.

2) I note that the second example omits the word "in" after the word "imaged". It seems that the second example was intended as an extended version of the first. Was this intentional or something that really doesn't matter?

1) Aach, yes. Page 30 should be included, of course.

2) Question 1: Yes. Col. 1 was included in the citation, because that's where one finds the header for the obit section—i.e., the first word in the two-part title of the obit, "Deaths: Murison, Thomas Baird." 

2) Question 2 (last sentence of the para.): Typically, when we cite an article in a larger publication—an article in a journal, an authored chapter in an edited book, a database at a website, etc.—the smaller title comes before the title of the larger standalone publication—with the article/chapter/database title in quotation marks and the title of the standalone publication italicized.  In the case of newspapers, in this era of computerized citations, the rule may be modified to put the specific article at the end. This usually happens when the researcher takes many items from a newspaper and prefers for the newspaper's title to be the lead element in the reference note and the source-list entry.  In either case, it is a case of the proverbial six-of-one and a half-dozen-of-the-other.

2) [3]. It's something that really doesn't matter.

Submitted byniteowl1851on Fri, 06/11/2021 - 04:28

Just to throw another twist out there...I also use RM7 and I created my own "template" for newspaper articles where I lead with the database since I have (and will continue to have) multiple citations from the same database. This helps me to be consistent with my entry. I think I posted on facebook about this before.

Here is an example:, digital images ( : viewed 30 Dec. 2019), "Welda Waffles," The Garnett Republican-Plaindealer (Garnett, Kansas), 08 Feb. 1895, pg. 3, col. 3.

Another example:

The Digital Archives of the Knox County Public Library, images and database ( : accessed 15 March 2021), "Grief Over Death of Wife Causes a Stroke," The Vincennes (Indiana) Sun-Commercial, 4 Feb. 1930, p. 2.