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Poly Archives & Special Collections: Citing Archival Sources

Guide to the collections in the Poly Archives at Bern Dibner Library, New York University

Using the Materials

Poly Archives

Appointments are necessary for all researchers who wish to consult archival and manuscript materials. To schedule an appointment, please email Poly Archivist Lindsay Anderberg at landerberg@nyu.edu. Please allow 24 hours advance notice when making appointments. 

For more information about Planning Your Visit see our website. 

To locate material across this or other collections at NYU Libraries, you can Search our Finding Aids.

Information to collect while researching and taking notes

  • Collection name and RG number
  • Box number
  • Folder number
  • Identification of item (either transcribe the title of the document or describe the item if there is no title)
  • Date of item
  • Creator of item

Citation Guidelines for APA

Works Cited Guidelines

Author last name, First Initial. (year, month day). [Identification of item].  Collection Name, Poly Archives & Special Collections (Box number, Folder number), Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, Brooklyn, NY.

In-Text Citation with Known Creator/Author

If you know the author of the work you are citing, include the author’s last name and year of the work in parentheses after the quote or paraphrase. Ex. (Author, year) or (Author, undated)

In-Text Citation with Unknown Creator/Author

If you do not know the author’s name for the work you are citing, include the title or description of the item and the year of the item in quotation marks in parentheses after the quote or paraphrase.  Ex. (“Title of item,” year)

Example 1: Specify unknown information

The image below is from Box 3, Folder 7 of the Samuel Ruben Papers (RG-015).  There is no indication on the photograph of the date it was taken or who created the image.  In this case, fill out the citation as completely as possible and specify what is unknown.

American Psychological Association:

Creator unknown. (date unknown). [Mallory Hearing Aid “A” Battery photograph].  RG-015: Samuel Ruben Papers, Poly Archives & Special Collections (Box 3, Folder 7), Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, Brooklyn, NY.

In-text: (“Mallory Hearing Aid ‘A’ Battery photograph,” undated)

Modern Language Association:

Creator unknown.  Mallory Hearing Aid “A” Battery photograph. Date unknown.  RG-015: Samuel Ruben Papers.  Box 3, Folder 7. Poly Archives & Special Collections, Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, Brooklyn.

In-text: (“Mallory Hearing Aid ‘A’ Battery photograph”)

 

Citation Guidelines for MLA

Works Cited Guidelines

Author last name, First name.  Identification of item. Day month year.  Collection Name.  Box number, Folder number. Poly Archives & Special Collections, Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, Brooklyn.

In-Text Citation with Known Creator/Author

If you know the author of the work you are citing, include the author’s last name in parentheses after the quote or paraphrase. Ex. (Author).

In-Text Citation with Unknown Creator/Author

If you do not know the author’s name for the work you are citing, include the title or description of the item in quotation marks in parentheses after the quote or paraphrase. Ex. ("Title of item")

Example 2: Inspect the document for information

The image below is a letter found in Box 3, Folder 11 of the Samuel Ruben Papers (RG-015).  Information about the creation of the document can be taken from the document itself.  That is, by reading the letter, author and date can be determined.

American Psychological Association:

Middendorf, H. (1960, August 2). [Ruben Scholarship correspondence].  RG-015: Samuel Ruben Papers, Poly Archives & Special Collections (Box 3, Folder 11), Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, Brooklyn, NY.

In-text: (Middendorf, 1960)

Modern Language Association:

Middendorf, Henry.  Ruben Scholarship correspondence. 2 August 1960.  RG-015: Samuel Ruben Papers.  Box 3, Folder 11. Poly Archives & Special Collections, Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, Brooklyn.

In-text: (Middendorf)