[APG Public List] 1840 Census - Citation Question

Michael Hait michael.hait at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 4 15:42:04 MDT 2009

Sorry Rondina & Harold - here I will have to disagree with you.

Entries in the 1830 & 1840 census stretch across the left and right sides.  To cite the left side as say 215 (back) or 215 (verso), and the right side as 216 (front), etc., would then split the single entry across two pages.

But take this back to the very first stamped page.  The right hand side under your system would be cited as page 1 (front), and the left side would be cited as... what?  Page zero (back)?  Not likely.

The stamped numbers were specifically intended to cover the left and right hand sides of these pages, in the sense of  folios, not the front and back of the sheet of paper.  So why cite them otherwise?


From: Rondina Muncy 
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 4:03 PM
To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org 
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] 1840 Census - Citation Question

I think the use of *back* and *front* communicates more easily, but I just can't bring myself to use those terms. The only reason I don't use folio is because the concept, although very simple, is not easily communicated (as Arne's question indicates). If someone looks up *recto* or *verso* the definitions are straight-forward.

I cite the page number as if I were looking at the microfilm myself. NOTE: I also cite the source of the digital image. The same thing happens with, say, GoogleBooks. The *page* number that is assigned is not the actual page number in the book.  I never cite the assigned page number from the provider. The assigned number may not be the same in the future, the actual number stamped, printed or penned on the page remains the same. Besides, Lord knows, my citations are long enough. (Please note that this rule does not always apply. If I am looking at an image on the Texas State Library and Archives web site that has been assigned a number (PDF, TIFF, JPEG) that image number is connected to that image and must be included in the web address for that image. Just to confuse matters.)

<What do y'all think?>

On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 2:26 PM, <hhsh at earthlink.net> wrote:

  Far be it from me to advocate imprecision! But in this case it's not all that
  clear how to be precise -- i.e., how best to communicate the location, given
  the kind of numbering used on these census forms. Add to the folks who don't
  understand "folio" those who think the stamped number refers to the spread-out
  facing pair of bound pages, rather than to the individual sheet, front and
  back. (Told the number "217," I will turn to the page that has "217" stamped on
  it, and I'll probably look to the page facing that one before I turn 217 over.)
  No matter how we choose to cite, a lot of folks will look first in the wrong
  place; fortunately they'll still be only one page away. I'll follow EE, which
  allows Arne's choice "page 217 (back)" if you want to avoid the Latin.

  Rondina and I are as one on the issue of correcting erroneous page numbers
  introduced by compilers or online providers. I'm inclined to note the erroneous
  number given (just as I note erroneous dates given for city directories) just
  so it's all out there. If EE deals with this issue I can't find it. What do
  y'all think?
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