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Archives Research Center General Research Guide: Citing Archival Resources

Identifying and locating primary sources at the Archives Research Center and Beyond
  • Last Updated: Sep 14, 2020 4:56 PM
  • URL: https://research.auctr.edu/GeneralArchives
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Traditional Paper Sources: Jacob Lawrence letter to Harold Jackman

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Citing electronic sources: Antigone Theater Program

How to cite a traditional paper primary source document

Citing a primary source document, from an archives, varies depending on the preference of your instructor, the publication you are submitting, or the discipline in which you are operating.  You may wish to consult the Research Consultation Center and/or Citation & Writing Style Guide. The particular style may be the American Psychological Association (APA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Chicago Manual of Style, etc.

There are several elements to the citation which may be necessary to properly cite a document such as the Jacob Lawrence letter to the left

The document: The creator or author, specific item title, page, section, date.

Box and file number: The majority of materials found in archives, that are not books, are housed in some sort of container and within the container the various items are separated for various reasons in files.

Repository: This is the name of the archives.


The document shown on the left is found in the: 

Collection: Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Memorial Collection

Series: Personalities and Organizations, 1899-1985

Box: Box 20

File: Folder 33: Lawrence, Jacob, 1947

Digital Identifier Number: auc.034.0043

Archives: Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, Archives Research Center


The Jacob Lawrence letter shown here could be cited in the following ways:

American Psychological Association:

Lawrence, J. (1947). [Letter to Harold Jackman].  Contee Cullen- Harold Jackman Memorial Collection, Archives Research Center(Box 20, Folder 33), Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, GA.

Modern Language Association:

Lawrence, Jacob.  Letter to Harold Jackman. 28 December 1947. Contee Cullen- Harold Jackman Memorial Collection. Archives Research Center, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, GA.

Chicago Manual of Style

Jacob Lawrence to Harold Jackman. 28 December 1947, Box 20, Folder 33, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

How to cite an electronic primary source document

Citing a digital object:

The theater program, shown on the left, from the Spelman College Theater and Dance collection, is found online on RADAR–AUC Woodruff Library’s institutional repository. It is both a paper document in the collection and a digital object on RADAR. The best way of citing this document as a digital object using one of the above formats, APA, MLA, or Chicago Manual of Style is to add the Reference URL at the end of the citation.

Reference URL:https://radar.auctr.edu/islandora/object/sc.003%3A0010