What about Repositories in Sources?

+10 votes
I thought I had a good solution when I put References at the bottom of the Sources I had when I put in each source <ref>Repository: Repository Name, Address, and possibly date</ref>.

Now I see that References goes directly after Sources ONLY. I don't remember all that I've done to go back and change them, but I can do it a different way in the future. What is best? (I really like the solution I had come up with). (and I can't even come with as an example)

in Policy and Style by Judy Bramlage G2G6 Pilot (230k points)

4 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Judy.  I have wrestled with this problem also.  Profiles I work on are often Scandinavian and church records are numerous.  There are often different repositories for the same citation.  Some free, some behind a paywall.  I now include information about the source repository at the bottom of my list of citations.  It looks like this:

Then my citation looks like

  1. SVAR Bro kyrkoarkiv, Västmanlands län, Flyttningslängder, SE/ULA/10144/B/1 (1856-1894), bildid: F0005544_00073 image

The reference  to the repository keeps the citation clean and the link to the free image allows one to see the exact picture.

Examples of this can be seen at

by Norm Lindquist G2G6 Mach 7 (76.6k points)
selected by Judy Bramlage

I suggest adding 'sources' and 'citations' tags to this G2G question.

I like Norm Lindquist's well-deserved best answer for how faithfully and cleanly it adheres to the spirit of WikiTree / EE / CMoS sources style guidelines.

 Judy Bramlage's G2G question inherently contains a sub-question as to the veracity of a practice prevalent in at least one WikiTree project whereby bulleted Repository sources are differentiated as a subset of other bulleted Sources in terms of 'unreliable' Repository sources and other 'reliable' sources. For example, applied to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Runberg-9 this practice would be differentiated into:

(Implicitly, reliable sources )

  • FS: Family Search Title: Database and images. LDS Church Publication: FamilySearch
  • SVAR : Riks

Repositories  (Explicitly, unreliable sources)

Beyond wondering about the wisdom of differentiating repositories in these terms, this practice raises issues as to the proper WikiTree definition for the term 'depository'^.

^ EE qualifies 'depository' as 'when we have numerous citations to an archive with wide-ranging collections—such as a national, state, or university archive ...'.

Edit: In postscript, according to familytreemagazine.com :

  • library is intended for public access of materials.   
  • An archive preserves primary source material, with limited access to records.
  • repository is a library, archive or other place where records are stored.
+10 votes
If you follow the Sources Style Guide found here, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources_Style_Guide

you will see that there is no need to have a separate list for repositories, that information should already be in the source citation.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
+7 votes
According to the Sources Style Guide and the Sources guide it points to, there is NO explanation about how to put in REPOSITORIES. I'm still waiting for specific advice. How do I say I found it at Library of Congress (online) versus Library of Congress (in-person visit), for two examples?
by Judy Bramlage G2G6 Pilot (230k points)
edited by Judy Bramlage
Judy, The repository name and "location", real or virtual, should be part of the source citation and not separate. The repository is just where you located the actual source.
If I found a source in a book at a library I would cite the source, information about the book, and the repository, library,branch, city, State, and country, but if I found the book online I would still cite the same information about the book but instead of a repository I would add the url needed for others to find the same book. If it is found in the library of congress then I would add the url for the online source or the location for an in person visit but the actual source is the publication you are citing, where you found it is not something different but just part of the citation.
This may be a better example of the current "style"


The Style Guide also references Evidence Explained (base on Chicago Manual of Style) as the preferred citation format. It goes into great detail on how to add repositories of all types to citations. In fact it says you should be putting the repository in your citation. EE is the style guide for most of the major USA genealogy journals. I would think that most libraries (at least in the USA) that have any kind of genealogy section, would have a copy.

I went and got a subscription (temporary) to Chicago Book of Style. And I found nothing in it on repositories.  So I will be asked them a question and will be awaiting an answer, hoping it comes in before my subscription expires.
+9 votes
If you feel the need to add the repository, I would just add it to the end of a source. ie Author, Title, Publication info, p.# Repository, without the <ref> tags

This is the digital age and so much of what we're looking at is found at the end of Google Search, that adding the repository is almost redundant, especially if we've added a URL which makes it pretty obvious where we got something. But for unique items like a bible record that's only in some obscure county hist. soc. library, adding the repository is a good idea but can simply be done (as I mentioned) at the end of the normal citation.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)


I feel like I need to comment on your sentence: This is the digital age and so much of what we're looking at is found at the end of Google Search, that adding the repository is almost redundant, especially if we've added a URL which makes it pretty obvious where we got something.

I look at each profile as a teaching moment.  It should also be relevant to genealogy.  I like to include

  1. The family from which the individual came including their position in the birth order and age of parents.  If siblings do not have profiles, I include them anyway with an empty link.
  2.  Progeny of the individual including birth years.  Again with empty links if they do not have profiles.
  3. Birth date, marriage dates and death dates.

This often generates many source references.  As I continue I will refer to Pehrsson-736.  This profile has 24 citations from four different repositories.  For church records I used the Finnish National Archives 14 times.  With each citation I provided a link to the free image this source allowed.  It seemed cleaner to provide one link to FNA, but also important to help someone else find and become acquainted with this source.  I had 5 citations coming frol Hiski.  This secondary source profids type set names as apposed to germanic script found on the FNA images.  Each citation has a link to the relevant information on Hishi.  I then also include a link ti Hiski so anyone can find more information about this.  I have one reference to ArkivDigital for church records that are not available at FNA.  AD has a paywall and is mostly about Swedish church records, but has information about Åland.  The link to ArkivDigital would allow someone to learn that this is a Finnish source.

The last references are to Ålands släktregister,  This source is compilation of many of the families on the Åland Islands by the genealogist Håkan Skogsjö. I have thought of having a free-space profile describing this source and how to use it.  In this case the repository link would be to the profile.

This use of a separate identification of the source repository provides a clear/clean identification of the repository.   It shows the repository in a non redundant way.  It should help the reader verify the source. and provide new tools with which to do their research.

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