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African Studies Research Guide

Citing Published Sources

Correctly citing information sources is an important part of the research and writing process. Citation acknowledges the work of others and helps your readers identify and access the works you discovered and found valuable.

Your professor/instructor may require that you follow a specific style manual.

The IUB Libraries have copies of the major style manuals used on campus: American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and Chicago Manual of Style. Inquire at a reference desk.

Many library electronic resources such as IUCAT and the EbscoHost databases have a "cite" function. Look for a link in the item record. The "cite" function will generate citations in many different styles. 

Library Reference staff can offer some assistance as you write citations.  We find that the most productive way to consult with a librarian is to first write the citations yourself, then come in person to the library's reference desk with your bibliographic information.  We are not experts, but will give you our best effort.  Of course, your professor/course instructor is the final arbiter on citation accuracy.

Citing Archival Sources **

As with published materials, archival sources used in research need to be cited, whether you simply make reference to a source, quote directly from it, paraphrase it, or reproduce an image in your work. The form that your citation takes is determined both by where it appears in your paper and by the citation format required by your professor or research discipline. See the drop-down menus at left for examples of citing archival sources using APA, MLA and Chicago citation styles.

Regardless of which format you use, citations of archival materials typically include six key elements:

1. Title: usually the title given by the archives to a file or item; in the absence of a title provide a short description

Workmen thatching roof on new house
Letter from H. K. Banda to R. P. M. Carlson

2. Name of fonds or collection: the name given by the archives to the fonds or collection

Willie A. and Lucile S. Whitten Photography Collection
E. Reginald Townsend and Evelyn Diggs Townsend Papers, 1905-2002

3. Reference code: the equivalent of a library call number used to find a book

Indiana University Libraries' code for Liberian Collections materials begins with IULC (IULC022) 
Indiana University Libraries' code for H.K.Banda Archive materials begins with AS1 

4. Box number: the number of the box in which the archival record is physically stored

5. Folder number: the number of the folder in which the archival record in physically stored [in the absence of a folder number, a brief description]

Box 27, Folder 45

5a. File number: the number of the digital file in which the digitized record is stored

[Please contact the collection curator for the file number]

6. Repository and location: the name of the archives or library and its geographic location

Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

6a. Worldwide web location: the URL/permanent link to the archives or library collection

** The information in this guide about citing archival sources borrows heavily from a guide created at Dalhousie University