- Hardcover: 892 pages
- Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Co.; 3rd edition (May 22, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806320176
- ISBN-13: 978-0806320175
- Package Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 2.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 136 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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This item has been replaced with ISBN 9780806320403 Hardcover – May 22, 2015
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"The definitive guide for how to cite every conceivable kind of source a historian might use, from traditional archival materials to digital media to the most arcane sources imaginable." --John B. Boles, William P. Hobby Professor of History, Rice University
"Twenty-first century technology confronts historians and students with a bewildering proliferation of information some of it accurate and too much of it dubious. In Evidence Explained, Mills demonstrates how to separate the wheat from the chaff and how to report one's sources and achievements. This encyclopedic guidebook is an invaluable resource for historians, students and editors alike." --Jon Kukla, author of Mr. Jefferson's Women and A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America
"Historians will welcome the publication of this detailed guide to citations. Even avid users of The Chicago Manual of Style regularly encounter sources for which that handbook gives no guidance. Now we can turn to Elizabeth Shown Mills's comprehensive work."--Journal of Southern History
"A key resource guide for scholars and serious researchers who must rely upon and understand historical evidence. Highly recommended."--R.V. Labaree, Choice
"This is an essential resource for family historians; highly recommended for all libraries."--Library Journal (First edition: Library Journal Best Reference 2007)
"In standardizing a family history style, Mills has advanced the discipline. She has given researchers, writers, editors, and publishers invaluable new tools to bring quality and consistency to their work and distinction to the field."--National Genealogical Society Quarterly
"Meant not only as a style guide for the types of source citations used by historians and genealogists, this book also discusses why analysis of information within the total context of a source is imperative to understanding the nature of a fact. Citations not only tell where the source was found, but also can indicate a level of confidence to knowledgeable researchers." --Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly
About the Author
Elizabeth Shown Mills is an award-winning historical writer with decades of research experience in public and private records of many Western nations. Published widely by academic and popular presses, Mills edited a national scholarly journal for 16 years, taught for 13 years at a National Archives-based institute on archival records and, for 25 years, headed a university-based program in advanced research methodology. Mills knows records, loves records, and regularly shares her expertise in them with audiences across three continents.
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Evidence Explained (second edition - I don't own the first) has done an exceptional job in providing a strong starting ground for the standardization of genealogical citation practices and provides a nearly encyclopedic approach in covering the topic. While genealogical citation practices are still developing, Elizabeth Mills has created an exemplary work on the topic - this book is long, long overdue. Fortunately, she has also addressed one of the most difficult tasks that has developed over the past ten to fifteen years - the need to document electronic sources - and she has done a splendid job.
Perhaps my only criticism (so far) is that this book attempts to draw attention away from genealogy by proclaiming that is is focused on citing "history sources" - sure, genealogy should be taken seriously but it should not try to piggyback on other disciplines (such as history and the social sciences); rather, it seek recognition as it's own unique topic worthy of study. I also couldn't help but notice that the bibliography cites references to other widely used citation formats (most notably the Chicago Manual of Style and the Modern Language Association of America) but ignores one of the most widely styles used by those in the social sciences - that of the American Psychological Association. Just the same, this is not a problem but is worthy of note.
At the moment, I believe that this book is exemplary and finally provides a rock solid foundation upon which citing sources in genealogical research has desperately needed for so long. At last, genealogists have a valid model upon which to guide the most important component of creating family histories - documenting sources. Anyone compiling a genealogy needs to buy this book NOW, and strive to use it.