Citing Historical Documents for UM History 218


Adequate citation of documents is an essential part of archival research and writing. The format of these archival document citations, however, is less standardized than for that for published material. Indeed, some style manuals give no guidance at all. The key to an adequate archival citation is simply this: tell the reader exactly what document you are talking about and exactly where you found it.


At the Ford Library, we recommend this format:

Physical type of document, title or to/from or comparable information, date, title of folder in which filed, title of collection, box number, name of archives/library.


Examples from the collections offered in this History 218 project:

Memo, Kenneth Quinn to Henry Kissinger, 5 April 1975, folder "Vietnam (15)," Presidential Country Files for East Asia and Pacific, Box 19, Gerald R. Ford Library.

Cable, AmEmbassy Vientiane to SecState, 23 Sept. 1975, folder: "Laos – State Telegrams to SECSTATE EXDIS (2)," Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 12, Gerald R. Ford Library.

Intelligence Information Cable 49590 re plans of Buddhist monks, 25 March 1970, folder: "Khmer in Vietnam (1)," Vietnam Information Group Files, Box 3, Gerald R. Ford Library.

Message, (redacted) to Washington, 28 August 1963, folder: "Lodge – Diem Coup (1)," Saigon Embassy Files, Box 8, Gerald R. Ford Library.

Memorandum of conversation of Ford and SVN officials, 25 March 1975, folder: "March 25, 1975…," Memoranda of Conversations, Box 10, Gerald R. Ford Library.

Cable, Kissinger to Martin, 17 April 1975, folder: "Martin Channel, 4/75 Incoming (3)," Backchannel Messages, Box 3, Gerald R. Ford Library.

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Last Updated: February 13, 2003