This page revised 16 Mar 2006
Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9
This article describes how to modify standard source types to better accommodate cases when we have a copy or image of a source at hand, rather than an original document.
This is part of a series of articles on minor changes all users might want to make to the standard Source Types provided with TMG. These changes are designed to enhance the operation of the default Source Category for new Projects, those drawn from Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence!: Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian.
If you want to try these suggested modifications and are not familiar with editing the Output Templates of Source Types, you may find my article on Working with Source Templates helpful.
Many times we consult copies of sources, whether they be physical photocopies or images on microfilm or online, rather than the original record. Photocopies may come from another researcher, or directly from the library or archive holding the original record. Microfilm may come from the Family History Library or other institutions, while online images are found both on commercial websites and on those of libraries and archives. There are a number of examples of sources viewed on microfilm among the examples in Ms Mills' book.
But to me the most telling example she provides is for FHL Microcopies, on page 83. For them she recommends "Cite published source fully, according to type, then add: micro [film/fiche] no. [000,000], frame , Family History Library [FHL], Salt Lake City, Utah." I read this as an example applicable to any copy of an original source. I've even have applied it to a full transcription of a source, though others may disagree with this usage, but stop short of using it for extract or other abbreviated rendering of a source.
I understand that Ms Mills has made somewhat different suggestions in her recently released "QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources," especially for images found online. However I think she had it right the first time, so continue to follow the guidance in Evidence!.
To apply this approach one might create a custom Source Type for each such source encountered. But since it might apply to most any sort of source, it seems to me easier to simply enter the reference to the microfilm, photocopy, or whatever to the Comments field (on the Supplemental tab of the Source Definition screen), then add the [COMMENTS] source element to the output template if it is not already present. Here's how you would modify the standard Source Types to do that:
For example, here is the standard Full Footnote template for the "Probate File" Source Type (after removing the "Hereinafter..." phrase as described in my Removing "Hereinafter cited as..." article):I would add the reference to the Comments field just before the reference to the Citation Detail, like this:
[NAME OF PERSON], [TITLE] [FILE NUMBER]< ([SERIES])>, [REPOSITORY], [REPOSITORY ADDRESS]<, [CD]>
[NAME OF PERSON], [TITLE] [FILE NUMBER]< ([SERIES])>, [REPOSITORY], [REPOSITORY ADDRESS]<, [COMMENTS]><, [CD]>
Include the conditional brackets, so that if there is no entry in the Comments field this term is ignored, and include a comma and space before the Source Element itself to set it off from the preceding term.
After entering comments in one of your sources that uses the Source Type you just modified, you may want to go to the Output Template tab and click the Preview button to check your work. Or run a report that uses this source and check your work that way.
If you want to make the same change on other Source Types you use, repeat the above steps for each of them.
Once you have modified the Source Type, you then simply add text in the Comments field (Supplemental tab of the Source Definition screen) to record the fact that you saw a copy instead of the original source. For example I might enter the following from a document seen on a FHL microfilm:
seen on Family History Library microfilm no. 2709, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
In the case of a manuscript, for which a repository would be entered, I might enter:
photocopies obtained from the Library Feb 2004
In the case of a photocopy provided by a correspondent, I might enter:
photocopy provided by Mary Jones by e-mail "The Mims Line" 3 Jul 1998, saying she obtained it at the archives
Note that in these last two cases I note that not only did I see a copy rather than the original, but also provide some provenance for the copy so the reader can determine whether he or she judges the copy to be authentic.
Removing "Hereinafter cited as..." – removing that unneeded phrase
Adding Given Names to Short Footnotes – when you have multiple Sources authored by poeple with the same surname
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