[APG Public List] Source adequate?

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Sat Feb 20 16:14:38 MST 2010

Carolyne wrote:
>I am working on my portfolio, slowly, for certification (BG). Is the
following source adequate? The client is happy with it; but will the 
board be happy?

>Paul F. Goubeaud Obituary, "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle," 7 Dec 1935, page 11.
Transcribed by Carolyne Gould

Carolyne, BCG has not produced a citation guide, and the guide recommended
by BCG (EE) offers options for how newspapers are handled, depending upon
various circumstances.

What you have rendered here is more or less the classic version of a
newspaper citation, a la CMOS, MLA, and most other guides (including EE).
Beyond this, there are a couple of improvements that could be made, to give
the citation greater value. 

(1) Except in the case of exceedingly well-known newspapers such as the New
York Times, Washington Post, etc., the state of the newspaper is usually
mentioned, in parens, after the name of the town. Presumably, the "Brooklyn"
above is New York, but there are other Brooklyns.

(2) Although the column number is not typically called for by CMOS, MLA, et
al., in genealogy we prefer to include the column number as well as the

Also, since you asked, I'll also mention a couple of 'niceties' that CMOS-
and MLA-trained editors would notice: 

- "Obituary" should not be capitalized unless it is part of an actual title,
in which case the title would be placed in quotation marks. As you use the
word in this citation, it is not a proper noun; ergo, no capitalization.

- All the major U.S. style manuals still insist that abbreviations carry
periods; thus, "7 Dec 1935" is missing its punctuation. (I know, gen
software programs often ignore this point, but brilliant software engineers
typically don't have English degrees <g>.)

- Your statement "Transcribed by Carolyne Gould" isn't necessary if you're
the one who eyeballed the newspaper and you're the one who's citing the
source. As a rule, you're not citing your transcription; you're citing what
you personally used. But if you include it, it should be in the same
sentence with the obituary to which it refers. Just put a semicolon after
the actual citation and then add your comment.

Back to your original question about BCG: No judge would ever flunk a
portfolio for issues such as these.  But the fact that you asked about the
citation indicates that you want your work to be the best it can be; so this
is today's citation lesson. :)


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
The Evidence Series

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