Friday, August 15, 2014

Crafting a Source Citation for a Photograph (Scanned Image)

While I was writing my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 33: #40 John Richman (1788-1867) post last night, I realized that I needed to craft a source citation for the photograph of John Richman and the story accompanying it.  

The rule I've learned is to cite the record that you have, or researched and found, in its present media form; not the original record - not the "source of the source" - although the "source of the source" could be included as a provenance statement.

The photograph image I have is a digital image (scanned by myself in about 2001) of a photocopy provided to me in 1993 by Barbara Richmond by postal mail.  Barbara obtained the first photocopy from Roma Challis, my fourth cousin, a resident of Hilperton and 3rd great-granddaughter of John Richman, in about 1985.  The original photograph is, apparently, an ambrotype cased image, handed down over the years by the Richman family in Hilperton,  that was in Roma's possession before she died several years ago.  I corresponded with Roma for several years from 1993 to about 2005.

My first challenge was to decide on which source template in RootsMagic 6 to select.  There were two excellent candidates - the "Photo, Portrait, Private, scanned" template (from Evidence Explained, paragraph 3.37) or the "Artifact, Family, Photographed (privately held)" template (from Evidence Explained, paragraph 3:38).  The former was for a scanned image of an artifact.  The latter seemed to be for a physical artifact that someone had in their possession (if I didn't have a photograph and scanned image, I might have chosen this one).  

I chose the first source template mentioned - the "Photo, Portrait, Private, scanned" template.

Here is an image of the "Master Source" fields filled in with my information:

I named the master source with a unique name.  Note that there are no fields for the "Source Details."  

The resulting source citation elements are:

Footnote: John Richman (1788-1867), Ambrotype Cased Photograph, taken in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England, in about 1865; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2001 by Randy Seaver; privately held by Roma Challis (1922-2010), [address for private use], Hilperton, Wiltshire, England. Seated, elderly, white-haired man wearing period clothing and top hat. Provenance is Douglas Richman family in Hilperton to Roma Challis; unknown location in 2014.

Short Footnote: John Richman (1788-1867), digital image, in collection of Randall J. Seaver, 2014.

Bibliography: (1788-1867), John Richman. Ambrotype Cased Photograph, taken in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England, about 1865. Digital image. Privately held by Roma Challis (1922-2010), [Address for private use], Hilperton, Wiltshire, England. Digital image in collection of Randall J. Seaver, 2014.

I also created a "Description" Fact to put into John Richman's (1788-1867) timeline with a "Fact Note" for the story about the photograph and the image subject, and I then cited it with this source citation.  Lastly, I tagged the Media item (the digital image of the photograph) to the "Description" Fact in RootsMagic 6.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

2 comments: said...

What a great article!! As a moderately new family researcher I hadn't even thought of sourcing my scanned photos. Thanks for the wake-up call and the 'how-to' advice.


Mr Senn said...

This article gave me a great example for my personal photos, but I am struggling to recreate this in FTM14. Do you have any suggestion on how best to approach this? Also I would like the source template to allow me to add multiple citations for all the photos I digitally and physically own, without having to create "Source groups" for each and everyone of them, i.e keeping them all together.

Thanks David,