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Sources Categorization Mapping

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Proposed New Structure of Sources Category

Current category: Sources

Important note

The contents of the Source category are currently being reorganized. The main points of the reorganization are:

  • All sources must be placed in the new category Sources by Name which is going to replace Sources by Name as a general directory of sources.
  • At least another category should be added, either one of the topics under Sources by Topic or a location under Sources by Location. This is a minimum. A source can fit both a topic and a location; it can cover more than one topic and more than one location.
  • Place pages containing lists of sources under Source Directories.
  • Note that the lists of Topics and Locations are not currently complete. This is a work in progress.

The structure


  • Sources by Name general directory of sources; contains ALL of the current contents of Sources by Name
  • Sources by Location general directory of sources; sorted by location.
    • Continent, Sources
      • Country, Sources (Only create a country sub-category if there would be enough free-space pages under it)
  • Sources by Topic (corresponding to "Project Sources" and more)
    • Medieval Chronicles
    • Diaries and Journals
    • Databases
    • Published Family Genealogies
    • Latin Language Sources
    • Native-American Resources
    • African-American Resources
    • American Revolution Sources (instead of 1776 Project)
    • Southern Colonies Sources
    • etc.
  • Source Directories <- Landing level category
    • Place free-space profiles (FSPs) containing lists of sources (as opposed to FSPs representing one source) here
  • Source Bibliographies <- Landing level category
    • Place FSPs from the "Source Bibliographies" section of Category-Source here
  • Reliable Sources for Pre-1700

Note: Sources by Name, Sources by Location, Sources by Topic, and Source Directories will all reference each other. This action has already been completed. For example, see: Sources by Location.

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Comments: 10

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Seems fair enough unless the proposed system means that if your source does not fit into one of the pigeonholes you cant use it. No system is perfect
posted by Andy Lear
No, it would just fit into Category:Sources by Name and then maybe Category:Miscellaneous Sources


posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
I looked at this again and noticed there’s a new Mid Atlantic sources FSP, but we have robust source FSPs for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York individually. I’d like the opportunity to be part of a public discussion on the direction of source guides (aka directories). I have personal but also professional experience that I believe would add a lot to this effort. I hope I can contribute to a collaborative discussion. Thank you for your efforts so far.
posted by H Husted
Heather, some of the sources, such as New England Sources, are books/periodicals/whatever that cover that entire region. I assume the Mid-Atlantic has a few sources like that as well, and Rick has a source page. We aren't intending to create something like "Western US Sources" or additional categories like that unless it's absolutely necessary.


posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
Okay. I'd like to request this categorization naming process be public and collaborative. Would I need to re-join the Categorization Project to participate or could you open a g2g? If you would like me to post the g2g, I can get the ball rolling.
posted by H Husted
I agree with Heather. The fact that New England is a region where some research resources are shared across the region does not mean that the same principle can be applied to the mid-Atlantic states. New England has common sources because it was settled as a region (not a set of distinct colonies) and because the New England Historic Genealogical Society has existed for 175 years and has created and maintained a collection of resources for the region. This is not the situation for the mid-Atlantic.

There are free-space Source pages and Sources categories for New York, New Jersey, New Netherland, and Pennsylvania because these are places with distinct histories and distinct research collections (although there are overlaps).

posted by Ellen Smith
There is a Mid-Atlantic section in Rick Pierpont's original classification (see here). We agreed to respect this classification as much as possible, therefore there is a Mid-Atlantic category to house sources classed as Mid-Atlantic by Rick. "Mid-Atlantic" states can be accessed both through the Mid-Atlantic category and the United States category, therefore I can not see how Mid-Atlantic could be a hindrance. You will allow that my ignorance of American history and geography would prevent my making personal decisions in the matter.

Has the proposal for complete removal of the category system for Sources been posted yet? I am looking forward to it.

Thanks Isabelle and Natalie for linking me to this document.

I would like to suggest that each of the new categories include up top a link to the Source Free Space pages (what you've called a Directory of Sources) advising the user to start there. A well organized FSP is more helpful at the end of the day than any category structure and will contain information, links, etc. that don't become FSPs with categories. It's a guide on the sources, not just a grouping, and I'm concerned a user would get lost in sub-categories. New Jersey is the one I have worked the most on, but I've grown over time the pages for Delaware, New Sweden, and New York. The projects like Magna Carta and PGM have great source pages as well.

posted by H Husted
I am not quite sure what you mean.

We will be cross-referencing all of the other categories. See:


posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
edited by Natalie (Durbin) Trott