Citation guidelines for LMA documents
Archival documents held by London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) are used regularly during research for published books and articles. It is vital that documents are cited correctly within footnotes or bibliographies attached to published works. The most important reason for this is to allow readers of the published works to research further into a subject by visiting LMA to consult the original documents used; correct citation will allow the document to be easily identified by the researcher and by LMA staff. It is also important to record details of the archival collection to which a document belongs, both to add context and to allow identification of the copyright owner.
These guidelines will help to achieve consistency when citing documents from our collections within published works, and will ensure that all essential information is recorded within citations in the correct format.
Citations of documents held by LMA should follow a general description of the document, including date, and will usually contain the following elements:
- The name of the repository which has custody of the document, and its parent body: London Metropolitan Archives, City of London
- The full catalogue reference used to identify the individual document
- If appropriate, an internal identifier referencing the exact page, folio, membrane etc from which the information was taken
- The name of the archival collection to which the document belongs
- In some cases it is helpful to include an extended reference, for instance the name of the series to which the document belongs. This can give useful contextual information, especially when the document is part of a large collection
Repository reference: London Metropolitan Archives
For the first citation in a bibliography or set of footnotes, LMA should always be cited in tandem with its parent body in the following format:
- London Metropolitan Archives, City of London
For subsequent citations the abbreviation ‘LMA’ may be used.
This citation should be used for every document in the custody of LMA, including those previously held by the Corporation of London Records Office, Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section or Guildhall Library Prints and Maps Section.
The reference quoted for each document should be exactly as it appears in LMA’s paper catalogues, or within the ‘Reference Code’ field in our Collections Catalogue.
Documents from predecessor repositories which have merged with LMA should be quoted by their full LMA reference, not the reference by which they were previously known. This applies to documents previously held by the Corporation of London Records Office, Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section or Guildhall Library Prints and Maps Section.
Examples of citations of documents from predecessor repositories:
'Corporation of London Records Office Miscellaneous Manuscript 83.3' should be cited as:
- London Metropolitan Archives, City of London COL/CHD/LA/06/025
'Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section MS 817' should be cited as:
- London Metropolitan Archives, City of London CLC/B/074/MS00817
'Guildhall Library Prints and Maps Section Pr.S3/CAB, control number q9518201' should be cited as
- London Metropolitan Archives, City of London SC/GL/PR/S3/CAB/q9518201
Any reference to an internal part of a document which does not form part of the LMA Reference Code, should always be separated from the Reference Code by a comma, never by an oblique stroke. It may be written in full eg ‘page’, ‘folio’, ‘membrane’ etc, or may be abbreviated as follows:
- 'p' or 'pp' for page or pages
- 'f' or 'ff' for folio or folios
- 'm' or 'mm' for membrane or membranes (eg for Sessions of the Peace rolls or similar)
The abbreviation will usually be followed by a number, which should be written in the same numerical format, ie Arabic or Roman numerals, as appears in the document itself. For folios or membranes the abbreviations ‘r’ and ‘v’ can also be used for recto (“front”) and verso (“back”) sides of the item eg CLA/049/EM/02/18/004/D6-D7, f D6v.
Consecutive pages should be written in the format:
- LMA/4278/02/124, pp 3-4
Non-consecutive pages should be written in the format:
- LMA/4278/02/124, pp 3, 5, 8
Always include the name of the archival collection to which the document belongs. This is important in order to ascertain the copyright owner of the document, as many of the collections held at LMA remain in the ownership of the depositing organisation or individual. The name of the collection will be found at the top of each page of LMA’s paper catalogues, or in the search results summary for individual documents as they appear in our Collections Catalogue, under the ‘From Collection’ field.
Examples of citations using collection names:
- London Metropolitan Archives, City of London ACC/3527/633, from the J. Lyons and Company Ltd collection
- London Metropolitan Archives, City of London LCC/TWYS/GEN/01/001, from the London County Council collection
For documents from large collections it is often useful to identify the creating department or the series to which the document belongs, in order to provide context. This can be done either as part of the general description of the item or in the citation.
Example of extended reference used in the general description:
- Minutes of the Court of Common Council Welfare Committee 1965-1970, London Metropolitan Archives, City of London COL/CC/WEC/01/001, from the Corporation of London collection
Example of extended reference used within the citation:
- Woburn: agent’s policy register 1843-1895, London Metropolitan Archives, City of London CLC/B/192/F/017/MS38866, from the Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Group collection, Sun Insurance Office Limited
Please contact us if you have any queries or are uncertain about a particular citation, by emailing our enquiry team.
These guidelines will be reviewed every two years. The guidelines were updated in February 2020.