When citing primary sources, the key thing to keep in mind is that anyone reading your citation should be able to get back to the item you're citing so that they can read it for themselves. You should be as specific as possible, not only about what the document is, but where you found it. Citations to archival materials should include a box or folder number if known, and citations to primary sources in online databases should include both the institution where the original document is housed (if known) as well as a link to the document in the database.
Most archival repositories will provide you with their preferred citation that you should use when citing materials, even if that preferred citation doesn't exactly match the format of whatever citation style you're using. However, if no preferred citation is provided by the repository, you can use the guidelines on this page to construct one.
Please follow these directions when citing materials from the Center for Southeast NC Archives and History.
Identification of item, Folder #, Box #, MS ### Collection Title, Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History, Randall Library, University of North Carolina Wilmington.
When citing individual documents, be as specific as possible. Below is an example citation using our preferred citation format.
Letter to Henrietta Perkins from her mother, 4 August 1848, Folder 11, Box 1, MS 320 Ashe Family Papers, Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History, Randall Library, University of North Carolina Wilmington.
REMEMBER: Always defer to the preferred citation suggested by the repository or digital collection you've used, if one is available. Only create citations from scratch if you can't find a preferred citation.
For primary sources found in a database:
For primary sources found on a website or in an online exhibit:
For primary sources found in an archival collection/repository: