These guidelines are based on the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS17), which is a standard used in much academic writing in the various fields within the Humanities. Members of the Yale community who are using a computer on campus or are logged in using the Yale VPN can access the CMOS17 online using this link to the Orbis record. These guidelines are focused on using footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography to cite sources used, and are based solely on the guidance contained in Chapter 14: Notes and Bibliography of CMOS17. If you need assistance with other common academic citation styles, such as MLA Style (Modern Language Association) or APA Style (American Psychological Association), please consult the Principles of Citing Sources resource maintained by Yale's Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
The following information is meant to inform, not dictate, citation of special collections materials using CMOS17 guidelines. Maintaining a consistent style in citations within a single work (i.e., your intellectual output) is an important, over-arching goal in writing, especially if you find a need to introduce "logical and defensible variations on the style" into the citations given in your work (CMOS17, 14.4). Remember that the key factor is not slavish adherence to the citation style, but rather "provid[ing] sufficient information either to lead readers directly to the sources consulted or, for materials that may not be readily available, to enable readers to positively identify them, regardless of whether the sources are published or unpublished, or in printed or electronic form" (CMOS17, 14.1).
The CMOS17 guidelines below are organized in two sections and provide Yale-related examples. The first section, "Bibliography vs. Footnotes/Endnotes," focuses on the basics of citations and uses published materials as examples. The second section, "Considerations for Citing Materials from Archival Collections and Online Sources," uses a wider array of examples, also primarily from Yale collections and licensed databases.
Note that when citing widely available publications, you typically do not cite the repository that holds the material. One exception to this is when the analysis or argument in your work engages copy-specific features of a publication, such as hand-written annotations on, or materials tipped into a particular copy of the publication by someone who owned or used the publication. In these cases it is important to cite the repository holding the specific copy containing features that are central to your scholarly output. For materials found in an archival collection, citation of the repository holding the collection and the specific location of the cited material within the collection is a key element of an adequate citation. For materials found online, whether on the open web or in locally licensed databases, providing a uniform identifier, such as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or Digital Object Identifier (DOI), that will lead readers of your work to the resource cited. This is covered in much greater detail in CMOS17, 14.6-14.18)
Use the following form of each repository's name in formulating your citations to materials from Yale's special collections:
Arts Library Special Collections
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Divinity Special Collections
Law Library Rare Book Collection
Lewis Walpole Library
Manuscripts and Archives
Medical Historical Library
Music Library Special Collections
Yale Center for British Art
See the following sections of CMOS17 for additional guidance on specific portions or types of citations.