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Descriptive title of archival documents

The web service Grafiati now allows referencing archival documents with a descriptive title.

A descriptive title is a title used to describe a document: its type, structure, etc. In accordance with the requirements of various international citation styles, the descriptive title of an archival document should be given in particular cases: for example, when no title is stated in the source itself.

Depending on whether the title given in a reference is descriptive, each particular citation style requires using different bibliographic reference formats. For instance, in conformity with APA Style (7th ed.), a reference to an archival document with an exact title has the following format (the title of the document is italicised):

Hinds, B. (1964). Collision in the Arctic. Barbara Hinds fonds, MS-2-130 (Box 16, Folder 1), Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

On the contrary, a reference to a document with a descriptive title has the following format (the title of the document is given without italics and in square brackets):

Speer, D. N. (1861, September 20). [Letter to Aurelia Roberta Moreland Speer]. Daniel N. Speer papers, mssDNS 1-110 (Box 1, DNS 43), The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department, San Marino, CA, United States.

Different formats are also used for in-text citations.

To use the descriptive title feature, select the source type 'Archival document' on our homepage and fill in the details of the source, checking the descriptive title box. We will generate the correct bibliographic reference and in-text citation according to your chosen citation style.

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