Re: Sources and linking media

Adrian Bruce

On Sat, Feb 27, 2021, 12:50 Paul Sillitoe <paul@...> wrote:
As a newcomer to FH  but not to referencing primary sources, I'm not able to see how the distinction is being drawn between sources and citations in FH.

I think that part of the problem may be that the term "citation" has two different meanings. To people who are adept at citing sources in written documents, I think that I'm right in saying that the whole footnote, endnote, bibliography, whatever entry is considered as a citation. 

In FH and many other systems inspired by GEDCOM, the information in a real world citation is split between a source record and what FH users refer to as a citation. If I look at the cliched source of a book that is referenced several times (such as a Directory, say), the common bits that appear in all the printed citations (Directory title, publisher, edition etc) go into the Source Record. The bits specific to a single reference (page number, whether it's primary or secondary information relative to the fact being supported, quoted text etc) all go into what FH users refer to as the citation.

The printed citation then contains data from the source record and the FH-citation. 

The contents of the Source Record are effectively defined by GEDCOM. Ditto the FH-citation. Having said that, of course, anyone can shift text that someone else would put into the Source Record over into the FH-citation. It's all just text at the end of the day. This is the eternal debate between splitters and lumpers. Does your Source Record define a single physical object such as a parish register, or an individual entry in that parish register? It's not a question that comes up in formal citation guides, I think, because they only consider the final printed citation, not where the data is stored in any system.

Anyway, that's my attempt at distinguishing the source and citation concepts in FH, with a nod to what I think written citations mean. 

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