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History of Cleveland & Northeast Ohio: Citing Primary Sources

Resources about the history of greater Cleveland and northeast Ohio.

Citing archival material in Special Collections

You've finally found that elusive photograph or manuscript or thingamagig for your research project in Special Collections.  Woot!  But wait -- how do you cite a photograph or a news clipping in your bibliography?  If you've scoured the Chicago Manual of Style or some of style sheet only to find that nothing seems to fit this primary source item, you're not alone.

Remember that a well cited source contains all the necessary pieces of information for anyone to relocate your finding.  If you work from the smallest piece of information to the largest, you'll be able to craft a thorough citation.  Think about the information found in more traditional cited material:  Author, Title, Publisher, Location, Date.   For archival material, you would use a similar structure of Title, Creator, Date, Folder, Collection, Repository.

For example, let's say that you decided to use this photograph from the "poultry" folder of photographs and had the metadata (i.e., cataloged information about the photograph) for the image (original can be found, along with metadata, on Cleveland Memory at ):


Chickens playing cards


Identifier Poultry01.jpg
Title Hens playing bridge at the Seventh World's Poultry Congress and Exposition held in Cleveland, Ohio, August, 1939
Creator unknown
Description "Hens play bridge at Florida state exhibit, while phonograph record relates their 'conversation'"--photo verso. "A Florida 'hen' party" is the description of this state of Florida exhibit at the Seventh World's Poultry Congress held in Cleveland, Ohio. Opening on July 28, 1939 and continuing for eleven days, the total attendance for the event was 382,000. It was an international event for the city at that time: A virtual 'Who's Who' in international poultry were in attendance; 47 countries were represented and the town rolled out the red carpet. On July 30, a crowd of 35,000 gathered at Rockefeller Park to observe the mass dedication of the 35-acre Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Soil from 25 of these countries was put into a vault in the American Colonial Garden. And a tree was planted for each country, in a mix of Cleveland soil and native soil from each country.
Original Date 1939-08-02
Repository Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Special Collections.
Repository Collection Cleveland Press


Using the metadata above, the photograph citation would look like this:

"Hens playing bridge at the Seventh World's Poultry Congress and Exposition held in Cleveland, Ohio, August, 1939." Unknown Photographer, 1939. Poultry Photograph Folder, Cleveland Press Collection.  Special Collections, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University.

Keep in mind that your professor might have a different format to use for citations, so always be sure to check prior to submitting your final project.