Skip to Main Content

Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives: Citing Archival Materials

A guide to conducting archival research and exploring special collections at Connecticut College


Citing a primary source document from an archives will vary depending on the preference of your instructor, the publication you are submitting the article to, or the discipline in which you are operating.  The particular style may be the American Psychological Association (APA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Chicago Manual of Style, etc.

There are several elements to the citation which may be necessary to properly cite a document. Note, that all of these elements may not necessarily be present in the primary source you are citing (for example, some smaller collections are not divided into Series).  If you have questions about proper citation style, please consult with a member of the Special Collections team in the Lear Center.

Below is the information needed to cite the document on the right:

Description: Mary Beard to H.C. Chapin, date

Collection: World Center for Women's Archives, date

Series: 1

Box: 1

File: 2

Archives: Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives, Connecticut College

Institution: Connecticut College Library

An example of this citation would be (Chicago Style):

Mary Beard to H.C. Chapin, 15 May, 1939, Series I, Box 1, File 2, World Center for Women's Archives 1935-1940, Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives, Connecticut College Library

Example Primary Source