Citation of manuscripts incorrect in many styles

The footnote citations for manuscripts are incorrect in most of the (humanities) styles I have tried, despite the printed version of the styles showing the correct formula for citation.
From _Oxford Manual of Style_ (Oxford: OUP, 2002), 535 'Manuscript and other documentary sources' --
"Each entry should specify the city, the library or other archive, the collection and any series or sub-series, and the volume (or file, bundle, box, etc.) As with all references the goal is to provide the information sufficient to allow a reader to find the specific extract in the original…"

Normally when you cite a manuscript you do not include the date (and I'm talking about e.g. things written before there was printing, not author's typescripts), but you absolutely have to cite the call-number or you can't find the manuscript concerned.

So, in the case of one MS I'm working with, this should be cited as
Oxford, Bodleian Library MSS Mus. e. 376–81 (c. 1528–30, 1553–8, 1590s, 1615–25) "Forest-Heather partbooks",
but under Hart in Zotero styles this comes out as
‘Forrest-Heather Partbooks’, 1528, Oxford, Bodleian Library
[note, no call-number, which is absolutely essential, date incomplete, no user could find the books from this citation]
Oxford University Press HUMSOC, Chicago 17th, Elsevier (Harvard) and Taylor & Francis
…in the Forest-Heather books.(‘Forrest-Heather Partbooks’ 1528) [NB relocated from footnote into text??, date incomplete, not even library location cited]
OUP (note)
‘Forrest-Heather Partbooks’ (c. – , 1553–8, 1590s, 1615–25 1528), Oxford, Bodleian Library. [NB date screwy and STILL no call-number]

If I change the Item type in Zotero from 'Manuscript' to 'Document' or 'Map' this still fails to display the call-number, relying only on the name, which is what is referred to in the text. The footnote should cite the full location and call number. Is there a workaround, or could someone fix these styles?

Many thanks (going manual for now!)
  • Call number isn’t the correct field for this. You should enter this information in the Archive and Loc. in Archive fields.
  • The styles are still incorrect, though. I've never made peace with the odd convention of citing archival materials in a way that has nothing to do with the structure of other citations, so it's not implemented anywhere afaik (the issue, to be clear, is to cite the location of an item first, whereas in all other citations in the same style you start with creator and title).


    But the main issues with findability would indeed be addressed simply by using Loc in Archive as intended. Complex dates are a bit of a mess in Zotero. I wouldn't even know how to get "c. 1528–30, 1553–8, 1590s, 1615–25"
    but
    issued: ~1528/1530

    could at least generally produce c. 1528-1530, although uncertain dates are not implemented in most styles.
  • I have put the call number in Loc. to make it show, but it is in fact the call number (a.k.a. shelf mark), so the call number field is wrongly named or wrongly managed in the compiling script. However, even having it in the loc. field doesn't make the content display correctly. OUP style specifies:
    City, Library, shelf mark, folio (in that order), and that's how authors of scholarly articles do it no matter what the underlying style is. What I'm getting (now) is the shelf mark followed by the library, which is backwards as adamsmith notes.

    The date issue is a problem, but I'm attempting to use Zotero to store this information so that I don't have to keep looking it up (and to get rid of the very messy 'notes' document that has to follow me around everywhere), so I do want to record the dates accurately in here. At least it's easier to find the info in Zotero. I had an old bibliography database and had written the compilation scripts myself, but they didn't cover enough styles, hence the move to Zotero. That MS is a particular bugbear, but another one that is 'c.1595' is showing up as 1595, and c.1568-c.1581 is also getting scrambled.
  • edited 8 days ago
    Loc. in Archive was created as a field to store any location information--box, folder, record group, document number, etc. The Archive field is meant to store the name or abbreviation of the archive.

    Archival sources are cited differently not just for institutions (US National Archives has it's own style guide, for example) but also for different academic subfields (i.e. US historians cite the entire document with author and title, whereas Russian/Soviet historians cite only the location in the archive). It's impossible to format a citation correctly for all options on the Zotero end.

    I now focus on using Zotero to track the archival sources, and get the formatting of archival citations as close to the correct citation as possible. Then I use copy/paste citation shortcuts for all sources and correct any errors in the footnotes before submission. This takes away automatic formatting of footnotes and automatic creation of bibliographies. But in my opinion, for people who work with many different archival sources it's the only option.
  • Sounds like a plan, though if working in a 'style' surely the style sheet should format the citation in line with the publisher requirements, not local conventions?

    I work with sources worldwide, and they are always cited the same way (possibly there are different conventions for different types of document though?). I have ones in Estonia, France, Greece, USA, Australia etc., all cited in the same format (country, city, archive, shelf mark/location). Publications (musicology, antiquarian, history -- all humanities) from the USA, Poland, UK, Germany, France, Italy etc. have the same citation formats.
  • I work in 20th-century records in US and Russian archives and archival citations are completely different in the same style (I've published in Chicago author-date, Chicago notes, and MLA). Perhaps the older historical period for your work allows for more consistent citation.
  • Sounds like it!
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