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Footnotes made easy: a guide for history majors

How do I cite a source (primary or secondary) that is quoted in another source?

Chicago 14.273 Citations taken from secondary sources

20. "Le Thi Dau (NLF nurse), recollections of service in the resistance, late 1950s-late1960s," David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai, Vietnam: A Portait of its People at War (London: Tauris, 1996): 45-6 quoted in Michael H. Hunt, ed.,  A Vietnam Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010), 142-3.

For the entry in the bibliography, cite the compilation as a whole:

Hunt, Michael H., ed.,  A Vietnam Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

How do I cite archival material from microfilm or digital collections?

Regardless of whether you have consulted archival material in its original form, on microfilm, or in a digital version, your citation must include the elements listed in Chicago 14.232. For a digital version, see also Chicago 14.4-14.12.

In general, you will be safe if you cite the material as if you had seen it in the original form, but you should also include information about the digital collection or microfilm set that you actually used.

Not to be confused with how to cite microform editions of published work, for which see Chicago 14.120.


Abbreviations.  Should you cite certain sources repeatedly, you may wish to develop a system of abbreviations to simplify your footnotes. In this case, a page explaining the abbreviations should follow the table of contents. For example:

DOHC        Dulles Oral History Collection
FRUS         Foreign Relations of the United States
NYT            New York Times