Correcting Misspellings in 'Printed Primary Sources':


29 March 2014

Published government documents belong to the class of records that scholars calls "printed primary sources," meaning that they are 'original' historic records now available in printed form. However, they hold significant potential for error in the identification of individuals, given the difficulty that printers in the federal capital had in working with penned documents from writers in the hinterlands who were often of a different culture.

When you encounter individuals who are incorrectly identified in published government documents, EE recommends copying the name exactly as it is written. Then, in your quotations and citations you may correct that identification by placing the correct name in square editorial brackets, immediately after the erroneously rendered name.

If you are not familiar with the wealth of records available in published government documents and legal court reporters, EE's chapter 13, "Publications: Legal Works & Government Documents," should be an eye opener.