Citation of archives

Citing archives used in research correctly is important not only for good scholarly practice in supporting your argument and crediting your sources, but also for other researchers attempting to locate the records you have used.

Archives are unique compilations of material only located in one place, unlike published works which may be found in many libraries, so you need to provide information about both the records you have used and the institution holding them. This information is given in a hierarchy from the archives institution, to the creator of the records, to a description of record group, or series, and then to a description of a specific item or document including date.

Full citations

A full citation is recommended for the first footnote or endnote to a source.

  1. Institution holding the records: you should either cite the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University (when using company and trade union archives) or if you are using university records, the Australian National University Archives.
  2. The organisation or person who created the records: some examples are the Australian Agricultural Company, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Waterside Workers Federation, Tom and Mary Wright, the ANU History Project, and Professor Leslie Melville.
  3. Reference number: depending on the records you have used, this may be a series of numerals with or without an alphabetical prefix. The correct reference numbers are important because without them you may be referring to hundreds of metres of material. Some examples are: N21-278, 78-1-13, Z267 Box 12, and ANUA 53, 14.1.0.17 Part 2. Note that the box number is only used where there is no other reference number.
  4. Description of records: a group of records may be described, such as Secretary's files, Minutes of meetings, or Transcripts of oral history interviews, and then a specific item or document title with its date, eg Despatch from the General Superintendent in NSW to the Court of Directors London, 12 October 1832, or Transcript of interview with Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Sawer, May-June 1990.

Examples of full citations

Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University: Australian Council of Trade Unions, N21-278, Minutes of meeting of metal trades unions, 24 October 1962

Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University: Australian Agricultural Company, 78-1-13, Despatch from the General Superintendent in NSW to the Court of Directors London, 12 October 1832

Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University: Tom and Mary Wright papers, Z267 Box 12, Correspondence with Tom Wright subject file, greeting card from Olive Pink, 3 September 1964

Australian National University Archives: ANU History Project, ANUA 44-47, Transcript of interview with Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Sawer, May-June 1990

Australian National University Archives: University Records, ANUA 53-14.1.0.71(2), Correspondence files, multiple number series, 14.1.0.17 Part 2, Canberra University College departmental annual reports, 1958-1959

Australian National University Archives: Office of the Registrar, ANUA 31-2, 'Basic Papers', reviews and reports, Interim Council minutes, 14 Feb 1947

Brief citations

For subsequent footnotes or endnotes, citations can be abbreviated but the full reference number should be included:

NBAC: ACTU, N21-278, minutes of metal trades meeting, 24 Oct 1962

NBAC: AACo, 78-1-13, Superintendent to Directors, 12 Oct 1832

NBAC: Wright papers, Z267 Box 12, card from Pink, 3 Sep 1964

ANU Archives: ANUA 44-47, Sawer interview, 1990

ANU Archives: ANUA 53-14.1.0.71(2) CUC annual reports, 1958-1959

ANU Archives: ANUA 31-2, Interim Council minutes, 14 Feb 1947

Bibliographies

Full citations are recommended for bibliographies under the general heading 'Archival sources' or similar, then arranged by archives institution. Where a group of records has been extensively used, the bibliographic reference may refer to the whole record group or series rather than the individual items, but reference numbers should be included.

Copyright and acknowledging the source of a photograph

It is the user's responsibility to ensure you have permission to reproduce a photograph. Photographs taken in Australia before 1 January 1955 are out of copyright. Users should check to see if photographs taken after that date are still in copyright.

Whenever you reproduce a photograph or digitised image from the ANU Archives please  acknowledge its source with the caption from the collection of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre or the Australian National University Archives.

The full citation should appear in the bibliography, the list of illustrations or the exhibition catalogue.