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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Citation: Is it ever okay to enhance the standard? Opinions, Please...


For today's Wordless Wednesday I posted an image of a headstone I found on Findagrave.com. I wanted to give credit where credit was due so I searched the web to find out how to cite my source. Two websites generated the following using the MLA style to cite an image located in an online database: 


  • Option A: Dunn, Walter. Findagrave.com. Digital Image. [Headstone: Mary N. Massey]. Web. 21 Oct 2009
  • Option B: Dunn, Walter. Headstone: Mary N. Massey.  N.d. Findagrave.com. N.p., 4 Sept. 2006. Web. 21 Oct. 2009.


[http://www.noodletools.com generator; www.bibme.org generator; http://www.ccsf.edu/Library/imagecitationformat.htm reference]


I completely understand that as a genealogist one should used the current accepted form of citation to cite sources; however, in this circumstance I feel that the standard form is greatly lacking. What to do?


Here is how I chose to cite the image:


  • Headstone: Mary Nancy McCaskill Massey. 1974. Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas. Digital Image by Walter Dunn. Findagrave.com Memorial #15616487 created 04 Sept 2006. Accessed 21 Oct 2009


My questions are: 


  • Is it ever acceptable to enhance the standard form of citing a source by including more details that might be of interest to a researcher?
  • If so, is it acceptable to rearrange the format to increase clarity: 
    • Option C: Headstone: Mary Nancy McCaskill Massey. 1974. Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas. Digital Image by Walter Dunn. Findagrave.com Memorial #15616487 created 04 Sept 2006. Accessed 21 Oct 2009
  • OR should the added information be placed at the end: 
    • Option D: Dunn, Walter. Findagrave.com. Digital Image. [Headstone: Mary N. Massey]. Web. 21 Oct 2009 (Mary Nancy McCaskill Massey, Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas. Find A Grave Memorial #15616487 created 04 Sept 2006)
If I were writing a research paper for college I obviously would not enhance the citation. In considering that the purpose of the headstone image citation is to promote genealogical research and I am placing it on my personal blog then is it acceptable to enhance it?


I would LOVE your opinion!
________________________________
Well, seek and you shall find! Two amazing geneabloggers crafted awesome responses to my questions: Thomas MacEntee and FootnoteMaven. Thank you! Here is my revised citation:


Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 October 2009), photograph, “gravestone for Mary Nancy McCaskill Massey (1881-1974), Memorial No. 15616487, Records of the Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas;” photograph © Walter Dunn.


Read more: FootnoteMaven's discussion with Elizabeth Shown Mills



3 comments:

  1. Herstoryan:

    If you don't mind I think a post about this at my blog might be better than have a long long comment here.

    http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/2009/10/how-to-cite-find-grave-headstone.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Herstoryan:

    You asked for my opinion on Twitter, and here it is:

    Good Citations - A FindAGrave Question

    fM

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, Herstoryan, Thomas, and footnoteMaven, for these blogs. I have been wanting to get further into the Template feature of the Family Tree Maker program. This is the example I needed.

    http://ftmuser.blogspot.com/2009/10/source-citation-template-find-grave.html

    Is the result of this, Find-A-Grave, Citation into the Family Tree Maker Template.

    Thank you all.

    Russ

    ReplyDelete