Style Guide for Chicago Manual Footnotes
About Chicago Manual Footnotes:
Footnotes are a conventional way to tell your readers where you got the information and quotes that appear in your paper. Your goal is to make it easy for your readers to see what sources you used -- and easy to find any that they might want to study further. To do that, you need to provide complete citations in a consistent citation style. Leading publishers of historical scholarship (such as the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History) require Chicago Manual style footnotes.
Below you will find model footnotes that cite various types of sources. (Using the search function of your browser is an easy way to find the type of source you need.) Those models illustrate the format for the first reference to a particular item. A second reference to the same item can be shortened -- as illustrated below.
This document was developed to provide illustrations of the types of citations our students use most. It includes examples from a version of "History: Documenting Sources" by Diana Hacker that is no longer available online.
Book, most basic citation
1. Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 204.
For any book, follow this basic model for punctuation, capitalization, and italics -- providing author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, and the page where the information you are citing can be found. Variations on this basic cite are modeled below. Note that a complete citation is needed for the first reference you make to any item; a shortened cite can be used thereafter (see below).
Book, online or e-book version
2. Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (Chapel Hill; London: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 85, https://doi.org/10.5149/9780807899816_wood.
3. Heinz Kramer, A Changing Turkey: The Challenge to Europe and the United States (Washington, DC: Brookings Press, 2000), 85, http://brookings.nap.edu/books/0815750234/html/index.html.
4. Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, location 871, Kindle.
For e-books or online editions of books, attend to whether the text appears exactly as it did in print or whether it was reformatted.
If the book appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. in a pdf file or in another file type that provides page images), adding the DOI to the end of the citation is helpful. (The DOI -- which stands for digital object identifier -- is a unique and permanent identification number assigned to books and other pieces of intellectual property; when provided in the form of a URL, as in footnote model 2, it allows readers to locate online further information about the item.)
If the book was reformatted (i.e. for an html, epub, or kindle file), provide a stable URL, as in model 3. If a stable URL is not available, supply the name of the database where you found the book. If page numbers matching the print edition are not available, provide another locator, such as chapter or paragraph number.
Book, with two or three authors
5. Michael D. Coe and Mark Van Stone, Reading the Maya Glyphs (London: Thames & Hudson, 2002), 129-30.
Book, with four or more authors
6. Lynn Hunt et al., The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (Boston: Bedford, 2001), 541.
Book, for which the author's name is not provided
7. The Men's League Handbook on Women's Suffrage (London: Thames & Hudson, 1912), 23.
Book, with an editor instead of an author
8. Jack Beatty, ed., Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America (New York: Broadway Books, 2001), 127.
Book, with an editor or translator in addition to the author
9. Ted Poston, A First Draft of History, ed. Kathleen A. Hauke (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2000), 46.
10. Tonino Guerra, Abandoned Places, trans. Adria Bernardi (Barcelona: Guernica, 1999), 71.
Book, in an edition other than the first
11. Andrew F. Rolle, California: A History, 5th ed. (Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1998), 243.
12. Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (1910; repr., New York: Signet Classics, 2010), 44.
Use model footnote 11 for a book for which there are multiple revised editions. Use model footnote 12 when your readers need to know the original publication date as well as the specific reprint (abbreviated repr.) that you used.
Book, from a multi-volume work
13. James M. McPherson, Ordeal by Fire, vol. 2, The Civil War (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993), 205.
14. Peter N. Stearns, ed., Encyclopedia of European Social History: From 1350 to 2000 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001), 3:271.
For a separately titled volume, see model footnote 13; for volumes without individual titles, provide the volume number with the pagination (as with model footnote 14). Note that the cite to 3:271 means page 271 of the third volume of the multi-volume set.
15. Matt. 20:4-9 (Revised Standard Version).
16. Koran 19:17-21.
For the Bible, provide the book, followed by chapter and verse and the version you used (i.e. model 15 refers to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 20, verses 4 through 9, as it appears in the Revised Standard Version). For the Koran, provide sura and verse (i.e. model footnote 16 refers to sura 19, verses 19 through 21).
Articles and other short works
Article in a scholarly journal
17. Jonathan Zimmerman, "Ethnicity and the History Wars in the 1920s," Journal of American History 87, no. 1 (2000): 101, https://doi.org/10.2307/2567917.
18. Linda Belau, "Trauma and the Material Signifier," Postmodern Culture 11, no. 2 (2001), par. 6, http://www.iath.virginia.edu/pmc/text-only/issue.101/11.2belau.txt.
For scholarly articles you consult online, attend to whether the article appears exactly as it did in print or whether it was reformatted.
If the article appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. in a pdf file or in another file type that provides page images), provide the DOI-based URL if possible, as in model 17. (The DOI -- which stands for digital object identifier -- is a unique and permanent identification number assigned to journal articles and other pieces of intellectual property; when provided in the form of a URL as in footnote model 17, it allows readers to locate online further information about the item.)
If the article was reformatted (i.e. for an html, epub, or kindle file) or if the DOI is not available, provide a stable URL, as in model 18. If neither DOI nor stable URL is available, supply the name of the database where you found it. If page numbers matching the print edition are not available, provide another locator, such as paragraph number.
If you read the article in print form, the DOI-based URL is optional.
Note that a complete citation is needed for the first reference you make to any item; a shortened cite can be used thereafter (see below).
19. Nancy Gabin, review of The Other Feminists: Activists in the Liberal Establishment, by Susan M. Hartman, Journal of Women's History 12, no. 3 (2000): 230, https://doi.org/10.1353/jowh.2000.0054.
Note that the reviewer's name comes first and the name of the book's author comes after the title of the book.
Article in a newspaper or popular magazine
20. Joy Williams, "One Acre," Harper's, Feb. 2001, 62.
21. Dan Barry, "A Mill Closes, and a Hamlet Fades to Black," New York Times, Feb. 16, 2001, A1.
22. Fiona Morgan, "Banning the Bullies," Salon, March 15, 2001, http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/03/15/bullying/index.html.
23. "Renewable Energy Rules," Boston Globe, Aug. 11, 2003, sec. A1.
For an article you consulted online, attend to whether the article appears exactly as it did in print or whether it was reformatted.
If the article appears exactly as it did in print (i.e. in a pdf file or in another file type that provides page images), follow model 20 for magazines and model 21 for newspapers.
If the article was reformatted (i.e. for an html, epub, or kindle file), provide a stable URL, as in model 22. If a stable URL is not available, supply the name of the database where you found it.
If you read the article in print form, the DOI-based URL is optional.
When the author of an article is unknown, begin with the article title, as in model 23.
For newspaper articles, provide page and section numbers as the newspaper does (i.e. A1 means page 1 of section A).
Work in an anthology
24. Rebecca Harding Davis, "Life in the Iron-Mills," in The Norton Anthology of American Literature, ed. Nina Baym, shorter 6th ed. (New York: Norton, 2003), 1205.
25. Thomas Gainsborough to Elizabeth Rasse, Oct. 13, 1753, in The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough, ed. John Hayes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 5.
For a short story or article, follow model footnote 24. For primary sources or art reproduced in a book, begin with the information you would have provided for the item in its original form, substituting the information about the anthology for the location information. Thus, model footnote 25 directs readers to an anthology that includes a letter written by Thomas Gainsborough and received by Elizabeth Rasse.
Note that a complete citation is needed for the first reference you make to any item; a shortened cite can be used thereafter (see below).
Encyclopedia entries (and other reference books)
26. Robert W. Rydell, "World's Columbian Exposition," in The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, ed. Janice L. Reiff, Ann Durkin Keating, and James R. Grossman (Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 2005), http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1386.html.
27. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. "them," accessed August 26, 2020, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/them.
Information from encyclopedias and other reference works is generally cited following the models for other similar material. (Thus, you should cite print encyclopedias and other reference books according to the models for edited books or multi-volume books, and cite e-books or online editions of print books according to whether they appear exactly as they did in print or whether they are reformatted. If you are consulting an entry with its own title and author, provide that information according to the model for an anthology.)
If you are consulting an online-only reference work or a print book arranged like a dictionary, provide the keyword your readers should look for, designated with "s.v." (Note that "s.v." stands for the Latin sub verbo, or "under the word.")
For continually updated online resources, include the posted revision date for the entry, or the accessed date if a revision date is not provided.
28. Joseph Adkinson to Irvin Adkinson, 10 Feb. 1863, folder 11, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
29. Edward M. House diary, 6 Nov. 1918, Edward M. House Papers, Yale University Library (New Haven, Conn.).
Archival material comes in many forms, and information about individual items is not always complete. Within those limits, do your best to provide the information needed for your readers to find the source you used, and order the information from the specific to the general. Usually, you will include the following in this order: author; type of document; title and/or recipient; date; folder number; box number; collection name; archive name; and geographic location. When in doubt about what to include, follow the archivist's recommendation. Note that "letter" is assumed for items written from one person to another; otherwise, specify "telegram," "memorandum," etc. Also, the European order for dates is helpful when you are citing many dated manuscript items.
Hanover College material often cited by students
30. "Charles Alling, Class of 1885," Alumni File, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
31. Hanover College, Revonah (2009 yearbook), 24.
32. Michael R. Pence, "The Religious Expressions of Abraham Lincoln" (BA thesis, Hanover College, 1981), 10-11.
Primary sources reproduced online
33. John Locke, The Second Treatise on Government (1690), excerpted, Hanover College History Department, http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/165locke.html (accessed 24 Oct. 2003), para. 3.
34. Maggie Monfort to Elias Monfort, 23 Jan. 1862, Hanover College History Department, https://history.hanover.edu/texts/hc/Monfort-M.html (accessed 24 Oct. 2017), para 1.
To the extent possible, combine the information you would have provided for the primary source in its original form with identifying information for the online version of it. As a general rule, provide 1) author's name, 2) title of the original work, 3) date of original work, 4) "excerpted" or "translated" as appropriate, 5) title and/or sponsor of the site, 6) stable URL (if provided and if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 7) date on which you accessed the page, 9) page or paragraph number. Note that the European order for dates is helpful when you are citing many dated manuscript items.
Unpublished thesis or dissertation
35. Stephanie Lynn Budin, "The Origins of Aphrodite" (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2000), 301-2.
Census records (through a commercial database)
36. 1880 United States Census, Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, digital image s.v. "Callie J. Harrison," Ancestry.com.
The citation begins by specifying the date and government agency for the census you consulted and continues with the geographic location where the person was counted (the town or township, the county, and the state). Be sure to note if a digital image is provided. (Otherwise, your readers will assume that the site provides only transcriptions, without reproducing the enumerator's notebook.) Provide the person's name as the commercial site indexed it. (The "s.v." stands for the Latin sub verbo, or "under the word.") Even if the enumerator or the commercial site had the person's name wrong, your readers will need to search for the name as the commercial site has it. Finally, provide the name of the commercial site you used.
Indexes and databases within a commercial site
37. "Social Security Death Index," s.v. "Richard W. Nixon" (1920-1991), Ancestry.com.
38."Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," digital image s.v. "Olive Ellis" (m. 1914), FamilySearch.
Commercial sites like Ancestry.com may contain within them separate indexes or databases. Cite information from them by providing the title of the index/database, as given by the commercial site. Be sure to note if a digital image is provided. (Otherwise, your readers will assume that the index or database provides only transcriptions, without reproducing the original source.) Provide the person's name as the commercial site indexed it. (The "s.v." stands for the Latin sub verbo, or "under the word." Even if the commercial site has the person's name wrong, your readers need to search for the name as the commercial site has it.) You may also need to supply birth and/or death dates to distinguish among people with the same name. Finally, provide the name of the commercial site you used.
More details and examples for genealogical sources are available here.
Webpages (original content online)
39. Sheila Connor, "Historical Background," Garden and Forest, Library of Congress, http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/prd/gardfor/historygf.html (accessed Mar.13, 2007).
40. PBS Online, "Media Giants," Frontline: The Merchants of Cool, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/giants (accessed Oct. 12, 2007).
Provide as many of the following elements as are available: 1) author's name, 2) title of the page, 3) creation date if provided, 5) title and/or sponsor of the site, 6) stable URL (if it can be conveniently transcribed) or the website's homepage or search page (if a stable URL is not provided or is very long), 7) date on which you accessed the page (if no creation date was provided). When no author is named, treat the site's sponsor as the author.
41. The Secret of Roan Inish, dir. by John Sayles (1993; Columbia TriStar, 2000 dvd).
Provide 1) the title, 2) the director, 3) theatrical release date, 4) if viewed as dvd or video, specify the distributor, date of dvd or video release, and format.
Television or radio program
42. "A Place of His Own," 1976 episode of Happy Days (ABC, 1974-1984; Paramount, 2008 dvd).
Provide 1) the title of the episode, 2) broadcast date of the episode, 3) title of series, 4) network, 5) inclusive dates of the series, 6) if viewed as dvd or video, specify the distributor, date of dvd or video release, and format.
43. Ron Haviv, interview by Charlie Rose, 12 Feb. 2001, The Charlie Rose Show (PBS).
Provide 1) person being interviewed, 2) the interviewer, 3) title of the episode, if given, 4) the date of the interview, 5) name of the program, 6) the network.
Song or album
44. Gustav Holst, The Planets, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Andre Previn, Holst: The Planets (1990; Telarc, 1990).
45. Pharrell Williams, "Happy," performed by Pharrell Williams, in Despicable Me 2 Soundtrack (2013; Back Lot Music, 2013).
Provide 1) songwriter or composer, 2) name of song or piece, 3) performer(s), 4) title of album, in italics, 5) date of performance, if available, 6) distributor, 7) release date.
Paintings, Photographs, and Sculpture
46. Cecilia Beaux, Les Derniers Jours d'Enfance, painting, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, available at https://library.artstor.org/asset/AMCADIG_10313213807.
47. Tintype of John Finley Crowe, c. 1856-1860, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.), available at https://palni.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/hcarchive/id/106/rec/1.
48. Frank Blackwell Mayer, Independence (Squire Jack Porter), painting, in Kenneth L. Ames, Death in the Dining Room, and Other Tales of Victorian Culture (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992), 205.
For items you have consulted in person or online, provide as much of the following as is available 1) artist, 2) title of the piece, 3) medium, 4) physical location of the piece, if provided, 5) URL, if image was consulted online.
For items reproduced in books, follow the model for a work in an anthology.
If the item has neither a title nor known creator, include a subject and date or other descriptive detail to distinguish it from similar items in that collection.
Social media posts
49. Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) "Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it," Twitter, May 8, 2013, 9:37 p.m., https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/332308211321425920.
Provide as many of the following as are available: 1) the author's real name, 2) the author's screen name, 3) the opening text of the post, provided as a title, 4) the social media service, 5) the date, including month, day, and year - and time, if relevant, 6) the URL.
Use this model for posts that are available to the public. If you are citing content available to you but not to the public (as in a private message or a posting to a selected group of people), use the model (found below) for "personal communication."
50. Abby Labille, "News from Home," email to author, Oct. 24, 2007.
51. Thomas Anderson, conversation with author, Oct. 24, 2007.
52. Muse fan, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, St. Louis, Missouri, June 13, 2017.
Use these models for information people have communicated to you directly. Model footnote 50 is appropriate for informal oral history interviews. If you don't have the name of the person you are citing, provide a description of the person, as well as the location and date (as with model footnote 51).
53. Charles Chipping, lecture for "Introduction to English Literature," Hanover College, May 17, 2003.
Provide the name of the class and the date of the lecture. (The name of a classroom lecture is not usually necessary.)
One source quoted in another
54. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Random House, 1965), 11, quoted in Mark Skousen, The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and the Ideas of the Great Thinkers (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2001), 15.
If you wish to refer to a source that the source you are consulting quotes, provide as much information as is available about the quoted source, and also provide the relevant information for the item in which it appears.
55. Neely, Fate of Liberty, 21.
56. Zimmerman, "Ethnicity and the History Wars," 100.
57. Gainsborough to Rasse, 13 Oct. 1753, in Letters of Thomas Gainsborough, 5.
Use this shortened style on second and subsequent cites to a particular item. The usual pattern is to give the last name of the author, the main title of the item (or the first four words or so, if the item is still recognizable that way), followed by the page number or other location information. The first model is for a book, the second for an article, and the third for a letter in an anthology.
Footnotes are a conventional way to tell your readers where you got the information and quotes that appear in your paper. Complete citations in a consistent citation style make it easier for your readers to scan through your citations and find what they want quickly.
If you are reading this page from the Hanover College campus, you can click here to see an example of a published article using Chicago Manual style footnotes. (If this link does not work for you, contact your library to see if your institution provides access to scholarly journals through some other means.)
Suppose the second paragraph of your paper mentions Horatio Nelson Taft visiting the White House, and suppose one of your readers is curious about where she could read more about Taft. She will look for the next superscript number after your mention of Taft. (For most papers, there is a footnote at the end of each paragraph of text in the body of the paper, so she'll look first at the end of the paragraph.) The superscript number she finds in the text directs her to the appropriate spot on the numbered list that runs along the bottom of all your pages. There, your citation tells her that you learned about Taft's visit by reading his diary, and you give her all the information she needs to find a copy of the diary to read herself. (Standard citation styles give her enough information to find it online or to order it through interlibrary loan, for instance). If you quote Taft again later in your paper, she'll want to know more about that information too, and so she'll again look to the end of the paragraph for the superscript number that will direct her to the bottom of your page. There she'll find your shortened reference to the Taft diary, with the page where she can read the quote in context. If she has forgotten the diary's publication details, she can look back to your first footnote for all the specifics. If you follow a consistent citation style, she'll be able to find the first full cite easily by scanning up through your earlier footnotes.
Notice that footnotes are numbered consecutively over the course of the whole paper. (That is, the paragraph that mentions Taft the second time gets its own footnote; don't re-use the number found in the earlier paragraph.)
If you are confused about how to punctuate sentences with quotations and footnotes, remember that "the end punctuation goes first, followed by quotation marks as appropriate, and then the superscript number."1
Older publications may include the abbreviations ibid. (for the item just cited in the previous note) or op. cit. (for the title of the previously cited item). Those abbreviations are no longer used -- simply use the shortened form for second or subsequent cites to a particular item.
Be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism. If you do not provide a footnote for information that you have learned from someone else, you are implying that you know that information from your own experience. You are thus stealing the credit for someone else's hard work, and academics take theft of intellectual property seriously.