Finding concrete rules for how to cite archival material can be very difficult. Most of the major style manuals give some kind of assistance in creating a citation, but acknowledge that individual repositories may have additional suggestions. The purpose of any citation is to help other people find the information that you found, and this is no different for archives. Any citation you use for unpublished material should give as much context and location information as possible so that users can also locate the same resources.
Below is information on how we prefer you to cite materials from the Bentley Archives. If you feel that another citation would be better for your purposes, you are free to make changes. However, please ensure that all of the location and repository information remains in your citation, as this is how others will find the material within our collection.
Preferred Citation for Physical material from the Bentley University Archives:
Format: Description, Date. Collection/Series/Box Number. Repository Name, Location. Date accessed.
Example: Bentley, Harry C. Letter to Maurice Lindsay, Jan. 1st, 1950. RG 03 Series 02, Box #44. Bentley University Archives, Waltham, MA. 23 June 2015.
Preferred Citation for Online material from the Bentley University Archives:
Format: Description, Date. Unique Identifier. Repository Name, Location. Date accessed and Web Address.
Example: Students eating lunch on campus, ca. 1978. Photo #000139. Bentley University Archives, Waltham, MA. Accessed 05/01/2015 at photography.bentley.edu/456789.html.
Copyright questions come up a lot in archives because we deal primarily with unpublished material and our collections often contain "orphan works" - items for which the copyright holder is unknown or cannot be contacted. While there are some general guidelines with regards to copyright, the use and reproduction of archival material must often be navigated on a case-by-case basis. Bentley Library staff members are happy to work with you to navigate more complex questions you have about specific uses and copyright issues. For now, here are some general rules to introduce you to how copyright works in the archives.
If you are looking for more comprehensive information about copyright, fair use, and more - please see this LibGuide! We have lots of resources on campus to help you navigate complex copyright issues.