Forking a CSL for multiple bibliographies support?

I have two questions regarding customizing CSL files. I realize that this overlaps between Zotero and CSL file maintenance, but all help and suggestions are warmly appreciated. =)

Historians at our faculty are instructed to create separate bibliography sections for their primary and secondary sources, and a separate one for each archive whose materials they have used.

We thought we could help them out by creating a new style based on Chicago full note. Chicago seems the closest to what our departments recommend (but please chime in if you think that another style for history is better). The only change would be adding "key variable="archive"/" to bibliography - sort in the CSL-file.

The writers would have to add "primary" to the archive field of each non-archive source, and manually add subtitles to the subsections. Do you think this is the best way to proceed at the moment? Based on the discussion here, it seems that there's not going to be any easier way to do this in the future...

Secondly, related to this, how should we distribute this modified CSL file? Should we try to offer it to the CSL git repository? Or fork the repo on GitHub, modify the CSL file, and offer a link of our version of the style file to our staff and students? I guess we should change the name of the style in this case, so that there is no ambiguity whether one is using the vanilla Chicago CSL or our modified one.

Thanks in advance for any help on this!
  • It would be better to distribute such a style yourself. (we already have a lot of Chicago style variants, and having more would make it even harder for us to keep them all in sync and up to date)
  • on the other hand -- if this is a style specific for a university department (Freiburg History, is it?) we could take it as such, no?
  • Yeah, this is for the history disciplines of the University of Helsinki. (Well, at least the ones in the Faculty of Social Sciences.)

    If the problem is the upkeep of yet another CSL style, I could do a fork of the CSL repo, and track the changes in Chicago full note, and every time it changes, copy the changes to our CSL style, and offer the updated style as a pull request to the master repo. Since there's no "child styles", I figured that would be the closest thing to it. Would that work for you? It would be easier for the users if they could grab the style from the Zotero Style Repository.
  • That would work well for us. We'd ask that you not label the style as a regular Chicago Style -- use some description of your faculty in the title, following the examples of other such styles on the repository.
  • Great, thanks. I noticed there already was one style that begins with university-of-helsinki..., so I'll follow the same format.
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