Citing Manuscripts correctly with MHRA

Hi there,

I am having a bit of trouble knowing where to input details of manuscripts and citing them as per MHRA dictates as per examples :-

[First reference:] London, British Library, MS Cotton Caligula D III,
fol. 15
[Later references:] MS Cotton Caligula D III, fols 17v–19r
[First reference:] Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 277
[Later references:] MS Bodley 277

Can someone help me please?

  • Any suggestions?
  • are these the full examples?
    Generally, Zotero doesn't do super well with archival sources, but the above seems rather odd.
  • Yeah, these are examples taken from the MHRA style guide v3_1. Full section on manuscripts:

    11.2.9 Manuscripts
    Names of repositories and collections should be given in full in the
    first instance and an abbreviated form should be used for subsequent
    references. The degree of abbreviation which may be acceptable will
    depend upon the frequency with which a particular repository, collection,
    or manuscript is referred to and upon any possible ambiguities. The
    names of manuscript collections should be given in roman type without
    quotation marks and the citation of manuscripts within collections
    should be according to the system of classification of the repository.
    The following examples show a suggested method of citation for first
    references and possible models for later references. Note that, because of
    the danger of ambiguity, the abbreviations ‘fol.’ and ‘fols’ are preferred
    to ‘f.’ and ‘ff.’. The abbreviated and superscript forms for ‘recto’ and
    ‘verso’ are also preferred.
    First reference: London, British Library, MS Cotton Caligula D III,
    fol. 15
    Later references: MS Cotton Caligula D III, fols 17v–19r
    First reference: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 277
    Later references: MS Bodley 277
    First reference: Sheffield Central Library (CL), MS Fitzwilliam E.209
    Later references: Sheffield CL, MS Fitzwilliam E.209
    First reference: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), MS fonds
    français 1124
    Later references: BnF, MS f. fr. 1124
    First reference: Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana (BRF), MS 2306
    Later references: BRF, MS 2306, fol. 10r
  • oh, so that's not for individual manuscripts, but for the whole collection/repository. Yeah, there is really no decent way of doing that in Zotero. I'd do it by hand.
  • No, I have individual manuscripts. I have one that should be cited as follows:-

    Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales (NLW), Chirk Castle MSS, Group E,3348

    in the first instance and subsequently :-

    NLW MS E3348

    Is this not possible?
  • not reasonably, no. It might help if you explained what is what in that manuscript to better do this in the future, but the way short forms are set up in MHRA makes this all but impossible to automate.
  • Ok, no worries. As long as I know as I thought I was doing something wrong.
  • Aberystwyth [Location of Archive], National Library of Wales (NLW)[Archive/Library], Chirk Castle MSS [Title of the Manuscript collection], Group E [Group/sub-collection],3348 [Manuscript reference number]
  • thanks. So you cite them without title. Odd.
  • Not at all, in fact. This is a very standard method for citing premodern manuscripts.
  • Going through some old threads:
    we have some limited improvements on this:

    If you include the place of the archive as
    {:archive-place: London}
    into the extra field, fill out the archive field in Zotero as needed,
    and put everything else into the Loc in Archive field, you'll now get correctly formatted archival citations in MHRA.

    Currently, citations will still include creators and title if they are present in Zotero. I'm still a bit puzzled about how MHRA thinks about these. E.g. not all archives have manuscript reference numbers for every item, so titles seem rather important...

    Also, this requires a lot of info to be added to the Loc. in Archive field, but that's what's currently possible with Zotero/CSL fields. We'll almost certainly add a collection field for both, but no timeline on those.
Sign In or Register to comment.