Civil War Pension Files - Page Detail

I received a copy of my ancestor's Civil War pension file. From EE 11.40, I understand how to cite the file itself. My question is how to cite a particular page in the file, or even if that's necessary.

His file is 67 pages long. None of the pages are numbered. I have kept them in the original order that they were sent to me, but I have no idea if that would be the same order they would be in if someone else were to order the same file. So referencing this by "the 43rd page" doesn't seem practical. I considered noting the main heading on the page I'm referencing information from, but many of the pages have the same heading. 

I'm looking for ideas of how I would cite an item of information within a particular document within the entire file.

Submitted byEEon Sun, 08/20/2023 - 08:19

Hello, Susan. Absolutely, we have to cite the specific document that provides a specific piece of information.  With files, we rarely have pagination. Instead, each document is treated as a standalone item that's held within the file.

The standard format for citing documents within a file held by an archives is explained at EE 3.1, as the introduction to the Archives and Artifacts chapter—and again at EE 11.1, the intro to the National Archives chapter.  In the U.S., our citation starts with the smallest item (the specific document that provided a specific piece of information) then moves up to the largest item (the archives and the city where it is located).  That generally means citing

document; file; collection; series; record group;  archive, city

EE’s QuickStart Guide (the page headed “The Basics: Manuscripts & Online Images”) provides a simple example of citing a document within a bounty-land or pension file. At 11.40, the Scoville and Littrick examples illustrate citing a document from a more-complex file.   If you are using a multi-page document (especially if the penmanship or legibility is poor), it would be best to state which page of the document has the specific information you are citing—as in “unnumbered page 3.”

As for how to identify a document: you are right to first consider whether a document already has a "title" or "header." When multiple documents carry the same header but were created by different people on different dates, our solution lies in the basic principle that any identification of a document should answer the who, what, when (and maybe) where questions.  To distinguish one of those documents from the other, we would logically identify the creator of the document and the date that it carries.