photo of stacks (lower floor)

Demystifying Primary Sources for Historical Research

Citing Primary Sources: Authorship

  • Who created the work in question?
  • Is there just one author, or are there several?
  • Are there any editors or translators associated with the primary source I am using?

There may be several individuals who contributed to the creation and presentation of the work. Most often these are editors and/or translators in addition to the main author.

Published collections of primary sources have an author (the person who created the primary source) and an editor (the individual who compiled the collection).

If the author is anonymous or not identified, begin the citation with the title of the work.

In personal communications (such as letters), the person writing should be listed even though the recipient is usually identified as well.

For photographs, use the name of the photographer.


Footnote or endnote:
John Norman Harris,

Priscilla M. Roberts, ed.,

Harris, Norman John.

Roberts, Priscilla M., ed.

created by: Agatha Barc & Colin Deinhardt | updated: 9 February 2018