You will be using online resources, such as the CIS Masterfile, to find some of your documents. But you will be looking at them on paper. You need not cite on-line finding aids such as Lexis-Nexis or CIS Masterfile.
Government documents often require complex citations; historical government documents are particularly difficult to cite. As there is no single citation format widely agreed upon, citations should include as much relevant information as possible, presented consistently with other citation forms. Use these as samples.
Farmers, Merchants, and Mechanics, of Newcastle County, Delaware, Opposed to Nullification, and for Protective Tariff of Duties. H.R. Doc. No. 100, 22nd Cong., 2nd Sess. (1832), serial 234.
12Farmers, Merchants, and Mechanics, of Newcastle County, Delaware, Opposed to Nullification, and for Protective Tariff of Duties (H.R. Doc. No. 100, 22nd Cong., 2nd Sess. , serial 234), 142-48.
The Congressional Globe was a serial publication that recorded the daily activities of Congress from 1833-73. Before the Globe appeared, the Annals of Congress (1789-1825), and Register of Debates in Congress (1825 - 1837) performed this function. (The Congressional Record currently does.)
Congressional Globe. Washington, D.C.: Blair & Rives, 1834_1873. [As with other serials, do not include individual articles from the Globe in your bibliography.]
9"Expenditures and the Tariff: Speech of Jabez L.M. Curry, of Alabama, in the House of Representatives," Congressional Globe, 35th Cong., 2nd Sess. (February 24, 1859), 268-69.
"An Act to Extend the Laws of the United States over the State of Texas, and for Other Purposes." Statutes at Large, 29th Cong., 1st Sess. (1845): 1-2.
4"An Act to Extend the Laws of the United States over the State of Texas, and for Other Purposes," Statutes at Large, 29th Cong., 1st Sess. (1845), 1-2.
Because different archives organize their materials in different ways, developing a consistent citation format can be challenging. Remember, the most important principle in crafting citations: is that readers must be able to find the sources you used so they can check your work. Citation formats should therefore be consistent, complete, and accurate. The following guidelines may be of some help.
The basic citation format for material from archives consists of three parts.
The source itself. This will probably be a diary, letter, or other manuscript
item. The citation format will vary, depending on the source type. Follow Turabian
and Rampolla for how to cite these sources.
William H. Parham to Jacob C. White, Jr., October 6, 1862
2. Collection information. Following this, include information about the collection and archive from which the source comes. In general, this will include the name of the collection within the archive, the name of the archive itself, and (in a bibliographic citation only) the city and state of the archive.
Gardiner Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
3. Detail information. In the same way that page numbers follow regular book and article citations, detail information on the location of the source should follow the rest of the citation for your source.
Box 6G, folder 17a.
For foot- and endnotes, include source information, collection information (without city and state), and detail information. Items in a note are most often separated by a comma.
7William H. Parham to Jacob C. White, Jr., October 6, 1862, Gardiner Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Box 6G, folder 17a.
43James Barnard Blake diary, January 15, 1851, American Antiquarian Society.
19Joshua Reynolds letterbook, May 21, 1843, Reynolds-Childress Collection, Montgomery County Historical Society, drawer 12 (correspondence 1838-44), folder 3.
For bibliography, include just the collection and archive information, including city and state. Items in a bibliography are most often separated by a period.
Gardiner Collection. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Pa.
James Barnard Blake diary. American Antiquarian Society. Worcester, Mass.
Joshua Reynolds letterbook. Reynolds-Childress Collection, Montgomery County Historical Society. Silver Spring, Md.