How to Cite Archival Material

As with published material, you must cite archival sources used in your research, whether you are making reference to a source, paraphrasing or quoting from it directly or reproducing an image. It is important to know in advance the information you will need for your citations so that you can make adequate notations of your sources while conducting your research. The following examples show you how to cite different types of material you will encounter in the Archives. 

Example of a citation

Location Reference

A) Name of repository

B) Title of fonds or collection

C) Reference designation (numerical designation for physical and intellectual control). In the SFU Archives, this will be a set of numbers such as F-1-2-3-4-5.

         In this example, F-1 refers to the fonds

           -2 refers to the series

           -3 refers to the sub-series

           -4 refers to the sub-sub-series

           -5 refers to the file

Document description

D) Either quote the exact title of the document or provide a description of the specific item if there is no title. 

E) Include date and page number if available.


1. Letter without a title:

Simon Fraser University Archives. Halpern Family fonds, F-58-2-0-0-9. Paul Kirby to Ida Halpern. 22 July 1954.

Simon Fraser University Archives. SFU Office of the President fonds, F-27-3-3-0-32. Brian Funt to K. Strand. 6 August 1968.

2. Excerpt from minutes:

Simon Fraser University Archives. East Enders Society fonds, F-59-1-0-0-2. Minutes of meeting of East Enders Society. 24 February 1965.

3. Transcript of interview:

Simon Fraser University Archives. Women's Labour History collection, F-67-1-0-0-36. Transcript of interview of Lil Stoneman; Sara Diamond, interviewer. 1979.

4. Document with title:

Simon Fraser University Archives. East Enders Society fonds, F-59-6-0-0-1. "The Downtown Eastside Women's Centre," (pamphlet), p. 2. May 1991.