14 February 2014

Citation Fits and Having the Spirit

Sourcing gives some genealogists fits, but the fact remains that we'll have fits later if we don't source our information and statements as we obtain them. Sourcing is not a skill learned overnight.

Evidence Explained,by Elizabeth Shown Mills, is a guideline to how to site genealogical information and statements. We've mentioned it here before and citations to items (when we include citations on this blog) are made in the spirit of Evidence Explained.

In the spirit.

No, this is not a spirituality post. While the goal of citation is to get us to that specific record that was utilized and to help us evaluate the perceived reliability of that document, sometimes there are not clear answers as the the totally, completely agreed upon, correct way to cite a document.

The goal is to get you back to that item--that same item. Not to the microfilm if you used the digital image and not to the digital image if you used the microfilm.

And not to the courthouse copy if you used a digital copy of the record.

Because that microfilm may be a better quality than that digital image. Or it may not.

And that original copy at the courthouse may now be so faded that the microfilmed image is better. Or maybe not.