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Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace
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Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  245 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Evidence Explained is the definitive guide to the citation and analysis of historical sources. It begins with a simple question: Why do we invest so much of our energy into the citation of sources? Followed by the intriguing answer: Because all sources are not created equal. As a citation guide, Evidence Explained is built on this simple question and answer. According to t ...more
Hardcover, 885 pages
Published June 30th 2007 by Genealogical Publishing Company (first published 1997)
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Michael Mendenhall
May 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
You don't exactly "read" this book. It's massive for sure. If you're a serious genealogist, you probably already own this book. I like books that talk about documentation and evidence. This author obviously has a high appreciation for it. Read the introductory material. It's terrific.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy
Evidence Explained is the expanded version of Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian , also written by Ms. Mills. It is an exhaustive style guide dealing with citations for history and genealogical research.

Even though the opening chapters were basically a revision of Evidence!, they weren't as readable as that book. I think this was because of the style guide formatting, with numbered sections.

However, for anyone who would like to cite images on a webserver or books on micr
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
This is not a book you read from cover to cover. That said, the recommendation is to read the first two chapters thoroughly, which I feel was a good use of my time. The remainder of the book is a well-organized, well-thought out presentation of how to cite various sources of information - those written, digital, audio, and online. There are excellent explanations of why certain parts of a citation are placed where they are and how they are and numerous wonderful examples. Though I have only begu ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book serves as a thorough look into the need for and methodology of source citation for those of us who are researching family history. I must admit I skimmed through the latter parts of it but did a very focused read of the first few chapters. I find this book's content to be essential to improving my skills in citing sources. It is a guide that I will frequently go back to as I continue my family research. Elizabeth Shown Mills is an inspiration to me and I highly recommend that anyone wh ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genealogy
This is an excellent citation manual. Those who have used the Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian will find this work has many similarities, but it is geared to the genealogist. Of the over 800 pages most of it is on the theory of citing with extensive excellent examples. The first chapter covers the elements of evidence for genealogists. It is a must have for citing.
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I purchased two copies of this book, one to mark and one to keep in "great" condition.

I am underlining, circling, adding sticky notes and such to assist in assimilating what Mrs. Mills has put forth in this definitive work.
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is THE go-to book for all genealogists!
Linda Hartlaub
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy
This is a hefty tome - all 892 pages. Besides being an essential book for any genealogist's shelf, it makes a good doorstop (like Mark Bittman's cookbooks). I belong to a group called "Genealogy Do-Over", where we are re-researching our ancestors and making sure that we are doing it right, including proper citations. One of our assignments this month was to read the first two chapters of this book, since the first two chapters give you the overview of the premise of proper citations. All chapter ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is more of a reference than a how-to book, but once you become acquainted with the book you begin to learn the underlying principals of citations in general. The first two chapters are a must read -- and probably should be read twice. The front matter of each source category should also always be consulted before citing a specific source type in the broader source category. Finally, the wealth of examples throughout the book are super valuable.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must-have book for the modern aspiring Genealogist. Covers citations for all evidence, DNA tests to Quilts.
Melinda D. Culpon
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sits on my desk to reference each week.
Robyn Choate
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
For a very tedious topic, the book is helpful. A bit confusing but overall helpful
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genealogy, i-own-it
I am so glad to have this reference book on my shelf now! I will use it for every lineage report, proof summary, and client report I ever write from here on out.

How do I cite an entry from an online indexed database extracted from a microfilm copy of an original parish register held at a County Records office? This book will tell me. Genealogical reference citations are so complex, you need a specialized guide to tell you how to correctly document sources.

My one caveat - I wish it were easier to
Kim. E.
This is a different book. I didn't actually read it (except for the first few chapters). Instead I studied it. The most important step in genealogy is to cite ones sources after each fact. This ensures that the information can be easily found again if needed.

Elizabeth Shown Mills is the premiere professor when citation and documentation is involved. She provides examples for each potential citation need, including census records, photo albums, diaries, vital records, and so on. I have yet to fi
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, reference, genealogy
I've read the first part of this book and found the descriptions of the types of evidence to be very educational. Since reading that first section, I've referred back to it several times when I'm evaluating a piece of evidence for my family history.

This is a great reference book for family history source citation. Every time I cite a source I flip to the appropriate section of the book and follow the examples given which most closely resemble the type of evidence that I have.
Dec 20, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: default
Whether you're a professional or amateur genealogist, this book is for you. It spells out in detail how to meticulously cite every source you use in your research from the standard to the obscure. With careful citation, you won't have to worry about coming across information at some point in the future and wondering where on earth you found it.
Quite a reference book here, and it's quite a useful reference guide for the Chicago manual citation. This is a book for genealogists who need to prove their evidences with thorough citation that Elizabeth Mills provides here.
I only read selected chapter for the genealogy class that I am taking at Brigham Young University.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've used this as a reference guide for more of my post-college work than any other textbook I was made (umm, I mean that I wanted) to read for class. Definitely a good overview for genealogical source records and how to reference them.
David L Fleer
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent reference for citing sources in family history research. Every serious genealogist should have a copy and use it.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all researchers
This book is the bible for citations, and for simply understanding the nature of the sources you rely on. This is a book you lean on.
Deborah Sweeney
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genealogy-books
A staple for any genealogy library. It should be one of the top ten books in any genealogist's collection.
Stephanie Lincecum
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Easy to follow citation reference. It has a permanent home on my desk!
Cat von Hassel-Davies
Highly recommend for your genealogical library
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great resource book for writing citations in genealogical research.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genealogy
How did I ever survive without this book?! Every genealogist needs this in hand.
Jim Babcock
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Indispensable resource for crafting citations. For hard-core family historians only.
Janelle V.
Jun 23, 2008 rated it liked it
This is a vital resource for accurate genealogical citation.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genealogy
This is a MUST-HAVE book for anyone who doing their family history.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: genealogists and historians
Essential title for citing sources.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2014
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