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    « So Very Dreadful | Main | Tech Tuesday: Tools for Transcribing Documents »
    Tuesday
    Jun022009

    Tech Tuesday: On Deciphering Genealogy Software Citation Templates

    In the spirit of continuing Dialogue... I'd like offer a few comments sparked by Randy's Seaver's recent post at GeneaMusings, "Which census source citation should I use in RootsMagic 4?"

    It's always nice to know you're not alone when faced with frustration or confusion. Like Randy, I sometimes puzzle over which citation template to use (in Legacy 7 , for me). I often spend more time figuring out the appropriate template than in actually inputting the information to my genealogy software program. It's not that I am a total novice at sourcing citations; I taught high schoolers the fine art of MLA style for years. They would probably love to know that NOW, I feel their pain.

    Question of the week: How do you cite photocopies of Henry M. Winsor's military records sent to me by my mom who got them from a cousin, who got them. . . "where???" They look pretty official. Copies in spidery 19th century handwriting enumerating Muster-in and out dates, information about an injury on the "Casualty Sheet." But, what the heck are these? Compiled Service Records? Personal Correspondence? Family Artifacts? Junk Science?

    I know what my students would have done; they would create a citation style ALL THEIR OWN. It would

    1. suit the time available for homework (as little as possible)
    2. use only internet research, no library time or printed books
    3. be based on either what their parents did in 8th grade, or what their 23-year-old brother did for his State Bird Report
    4. be creative in the use of fonts, style, and color
    Some of my favorite renditions included a combination MLA, Chicago, and APA. I particularly enjoyed the blending of numerical notes with parenthetical in-text citations, when presented in magenta ink in 14-point Gothic type.

    I like the comments from Tina and ProGenealogists under Randy's article; they have designed their own RootsMagic templates using EE as a guide. They must be the Smart Kids! My problem is deeper, though. I can't even figure out what form to use from EE. Do you think my students would find out if I made my own template and label it "UFO"?

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