Monday, 12 September 2016

ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group citing digital images on a website

Hilary Gadsby

Citing digital census images on LAC - not Ancestry    
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Citing digital census images on LAC - not Ancestry," Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage ( : accessed 27 August 2016).

If you are a regular reader of this series of blogs, dealing with the topics being discussed by the study group, you will have seen my previous post. (If you have not read it, may I suggest you do so, as this post relates to what was discussed previously.)

Some of you may have gathered that I do not read ahead but rather tackle each lesson as it comes. 
If I had looked at the topic for this week I may well have written my previous post to cover the discussion this week.

To illustrate the points I mentioned previously, here I will take an image from each of the websites so that the citations can be compared. 

I have chosen a baptism record from 1794. Here is the page at Lincs to the Past and Find My Past.

You will need a subscription to Find My Past covering the UK records to access the page.

This is the image as I downloaded it on 18 May 2015 from the Find My Past website. I have kept the original file name GBPRS-LINCS-SWINSTEAD_PAR_1_2-0236 and have filed it with other downloads from that parish. (The significance of this name will become apparent as I build my citation)

From looking at the images on both websites it is obvious that they are essentially both images of the same page of the register. If I had viewed the original register at the Lincolnshire Archives where it is now being stored my citation would be without layers.

The layers are being added to explain how I accessed the record I viewed. The Lincolnshire Archives have their website organised so that you can see the hierachy of their cataloguing.

Repository: Lincolnshire Archives
Swinstead Parish Records: SWINSTEAD PAR
Registers: /1
Baptisms and Burials 1794 - 1812: /2
Image 2 of 8 (1794 - 1795)

Reference: SWINSTEAD PAR/1/2 

The register is unpaginated and not numbered so any record from this page needs to include the full date.
The parish church for Swinstead is St Mary but there is no reference to this on either website. Being a small parish there is only one church so it is not important but in cities or towns with several churches it is important to quote the name of the church.

The title given to the downloaded image from Find My Past contains important information about how this record has been catalogued by the archive but there is no mention of this on the website. 
I find records of interest on this site but find it very difficult to build useful citations for what I have found due to the lack of information on the site. If the records they are hosting disappear will I be able to find them easily at the archive where the originals are kept. Since the purpose of citations is to allow anyone to find that same record again it is frustrating that websites may not make my job straightforward.
I had intended to compare citations for this record on the 2 sites, but whilst understanding what I have in the image, I find actually building the citation from the information provided is not possible without making assumptions.

Sorry if this is a bit short if you want to know more please watch the video

No comments: