Archival document: how to cite in Harvard style?

Create a spot-on reference in Harvard

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General rules

Most recommendations developed for the Harvard citation style do not contain any precise instructions on how to reference archival documents. Having analysed the standards of the Sheffield University and of other institutions, as well as the general practices of other citation styles, the web service Grafiati offers the following template for creating a bibliographic reference to an archival document under the Harvard system:

Author(s), (year). Document title. Collection, Document location details. City: Name of Archive.

In the 'Document location details' element, indicate the data to help the reader identify the document in the archive, for example, its call number, folder, box, etc.

NB: If a document does not have a title indicated on it, provide a descriptive title in square brackets and without italics (see the examples below).

For referencing an archival document available online, add the online source details:

Author(s), (year). Document title [online]. Collection, Document location details. City: Name of Archive. [Viewed date viewed]. Available from: URL

Examples in a list of references

Kerr, A., (1959). Anniversaries in Geneva. Alexander E. Kerr fonds, MS-2-153, box 4, folder 5. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Dalhousie University Archives.

Ferriero, D. S., (1961). [Letter to President John F. Kennedy] [online]. Papers of John F. Kennedy: Presidential Papers: White House Central Name File, 1/20/1961 - 11/22/1963, JFK-6.2, Name File, 1/20/1961 - 11/22/1963, Ferri. Boston, MA: John F. Kennedy Library. [Viewed 13 January 2021]. Available from:

Other citation styles: