Re: Sources and linking media

Ron Chapman

Can I add one thing. Part of the source /citation system is to enable another researcher to find the same information. But to truly do that you need a third bit of information and that is the repository. So I always have Repository/Source/Citation. For an example my father wrote an number of books, only one of which was published. In my family history when I refer to one of these unpublished books I am the Repository, the book is the source and the citation is the fact that I wish to include from the book. If I did not supply that information then other researchers could not access it. This must be the same with people who hold diaries, letters etc. I also cite information from a book held by the British Library and they hold the only copy in the country.


On 27/02/2021 13:47, Adrian Bruce wrote:

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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