What is Archival Material?

Archival materials can include primary sources and are often items that are rare and unique, not found in wide-distribution, and relate to the work of a specific creator (corporate body, family, or individual) or a specific time period. Archival material can include, but is not limited to, manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, photographic materials, architectural and technical drawings, cartographic materials, audio and moving image recordings, digital items, and objects. All of these items are examples of formats of archival materials found in the collections of the Carleton University Corporate Archives.

Keeping Track of Your Sources

When using books or articles, materials that are usually easily catalogued, researchers are able to record the details of the item according to accepted style formats. Citation information on archival materials is based on how one might be able to track down the item again and where it belongs in terms of its creator or custodian. By definition archival materials are unique and most often not found in more than one institution. In order for archivists, your professors, and researchers (including you) to accurately locate the sources you have used, keep detailed notes about the archival material as the archivist provides it to you. Ask for help from the archives staff to identify items properly. As you research, note in particular:

  • Exact file title, file number and any information about particular items you are using from that file (creator, date information, recipients of correspondence, meeting numbers, etc.)
  • Fonds or collection name and/or number
  • Series or subseries name
  • Box number
  • Repository (i.e. Carleton University Corporate Archives)

Citation Styles

Download PDF version of Corporate Archives Citation Guide

Read on below for guidance on using different citation styles to reference archival material from the Corporate Archives.

Chicago Manual 

Note within paper

Indicate specific item first and then build a pathway to the remaining details of the item’s location.

Example 1

Letter from H.M. Tory to H.S. Southam, October 10, 1942, General Correspondence Series, Box 345, Board of Governors Fonds, Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.

Examples 2

Report, “Industrial Design at Carleton University: a proposal”, p. 45, December 1, 1972, Subject Files Series, Box 198, Office of the President Fonds, Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.

Example 3

**Remember when accessing a digitized archive to include the URL for access. Chicago does not require the date accessed after the URL is included.

John Price Jones Price Company, “A Report for the Board of Governors of Carleton College”, p. 23, February 1950, Subject Files and General Correspondence Series, Box 026, Board of Governors Fonds, Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario. https://corparch.library.carleton.ca/index.php/report-to-the-board-of-governors-of-carleton-college

Bibliography

In a bibliography, begin with the fonds in which the material is found, the repository, and finally location. Including information about a specific item is not required unless only one item is used from a fonds.

Example 1

Office of the Vice-President Finance and Administration Fonds. Carleton University Corporate Archives. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

Example 2

Pauline Jewett Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies Fonds. Carleton University Corporate Archives. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

In-text Author-Date

In general, archival materials are not easily referenced using author-date style in Chicago style. If you do reference the items in the body of your paper, construct a description of the item within the sentence adding date information parenthetically.

Example

…as recorded in the minutes of the Institute’s initial Steering Committee meeting (March 8, 1988), public demand was cited as a major factor.

…in a letter from President Davidson Dunton to then Chancellor Lester B. Pearson (November 15, 1970)…

APA Examples

Note within paper

APA does not provide specific style rules for referencing archival materials within a paper. Based on examples from other university citation guides, archival materials should be referenced in-text similar to the examples previously provided under the Chicago style. Within the sentence, enclose the author’s surname and date in parentheses OR the title of the item if the author is unknown.

Examples

…as recorded in the minutes of the Institute’s initial Steering Committee meeting (Minutes of the Women’s Studies Steering Committee, 1988), public demand was cited as a major factor.

…in a letter from President Davidson Dunton to then Chancellor Lester B. Pearson (Dunton, 1970)…

Additional University Citation Guides

Dalhousie University

Marquette University

Purdue University Libraries

Tufts University

Bibliography

For reference pages, record the information, including punctuation, about the archival material in the following order:

Author last name, author first name. (date). Title [or description of material when no supplied title is available]. Name of fonds (fonds number if it exists, series, box number, file number). Name of archival repository, geographic location.

Example 1

Department of University Advancement. (November 1989). Report on the Alumni Association. Board of Governors Fonds (BOG, Series 9, Box 027, File 00973). Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.

Example 2

Working documents and minutes, Strategic Planning and Committee. (2003-06-19). Board of Governors Fonds (BOG, Series 10, Box 004, File 00114). Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.

MLA Examples

Note within paper

Referencing archival materials within MLA follows the normal in-text author-page citation of this style. Provide as much detail as possible within your text so that readers can easily locate the full description in your ‘Works Cited’ list. When there is no known author of the archival material, provide the title or description of the material.

Examples

…as recorded in the minutes of the Institute’s initial Steering Committee meeting (Minutes of the Women’s Studies Steering Committee, 1988), public demand was cited as a major factor.

…in a letter from President Davidson Dunton to then Chancellor Lester B. Pearson (Dunton, 1970)…

Works Cited list

For works cited list, record the information, including punctuation, about the archival material in the following order:

Author last name, author first name. Title [or description of material when no supplied title is available]. Date. Name of fonds (fonds number if it exists, series, box number, file number). Name of archival repository, geographic location.

Example 1

Department of University Advancement. Report on the Alumni Association. November 1989. Board of Governors Fonds. BOG, Series 9, Box 027, File 00973. Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.

Example 2

Working documents and minutes, Strategic Planning and Committee. June 06, 2003. Board of Governors Fonds. BOG, Series 10, Box 004, File 00114. Carleton University Corporate Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.