[APG Public List] Citing a manuscript

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Sat Nov 27 08:19:43 MST 2010

Cathi wrote:
> Since "c1850s-1911" includes an abbreviation for "circa," does the
abbreviation not require a period? I usually use ca., and I presume that ca.
and c. are interchangeable, but I thought both required a period. 
Cathi, cataloging titles, in citing approximated dates, frequently use the
format I followed for the approximated date span. For example, the Library
of Congress catalogs Peter Lund's collection of printed music this way:
"Peter Lund, Jr. collection c1850-1950 (bulk 1900-1950)."
Normally, when abbreviations appear in narrative sentences, we are indeed
still expected to put periods after abbreviations (Dr., Mr., etc.).
>I believe that it is preferable to use traditional abbreviations for the
names of states, rather than the postal codes, but where do we find the most
acceptable abbreviations? I have been using "Penn." for Pennsylvania, but I
notice that Elizabeth uses "Pa." Are these abbreviations standardized
somewhere? Or are several different forms acceptable, such as Pa. and Penn.?
CMOS (16th ed.) 10.28 provides the standard abbreviations.  For
Pennsylvania, that is "Pa."  
Those who debate using postal codes versus standard abbreviations are
winning the longstanding war (even though I haven't yet yielded :). CMOS's
14th edition (1993) decried the use of postal codes in anything except a
mailing address. CMOS's 15th (2003) accepted them on more-or-less a par with
standard abbreviations. Now CMOS 16th (2010) says that the University of
Chicago Press (which is what CMOS was designed to guide) prefers the postal
However, there is an important caveat: Postal codes and state-name
abbreviations are to be used in tabular matter, reference notes, mailing
addresses, etc. Amid narrative text, state names (like month names) are to
be spelled out.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
The Evidence Series
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