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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Citations

As I gather material, I come across many documents garnered from National Battlefield Parks.  Many are cited to the respective National Battlefield Park.  This is not an appropriate citation.  Most, if not all, these documents, come from other repositories.  They should be cited to the repository as well as to the National Battlefield Park.  Why?  Things get lost at National Battlefield Parks.  (The names are omitted to protect the guilty.)  Recently, I tried to get from a National Battlefield Park a document cited to it and to nowhere else (i.e., where the National Battlefield Park actually got the document from).  The curator could not find the document.  That is going to put the author who cited the document in a very awkward position.  When others try to find the document at the National Battlefield Park in question, and it is unavailable, what are they going to think?  Does the author have a copy of the document?  How is he going to prove that he did not make it all up?  So when you obtain a document from a National Battlefield Park, make sure you know where it originally came from.  It is more important to cite the original repository than the National Battlefield Park.