Kinsearching November 13, 2011




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Because the holiday season is fast approaching, many shoppers are already searching for that "perfect" gift. If your family or circle of friends includes a serious family genealogist or historian, you may want to consider giving him or her a copy of the second edition of EVIDENCE EXPLAINED: CITING HISTORY SOURCES FROM ARTIFACTS TO CYBERSPACE by Elizabeth Shown Mills. The indispensable manual deftly leads researchers through the labyrinth of all kinds of original source citations not found in traditional guides. As Mills explains in her foreword, researchers need to take time to document their work because sources vary in their accuracy. She points out that some resources may be erroneous or may exaggerate facts. Researchers must know from where any information comes so they can judge its reliability. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of various sources, researchers will be able to make plausible conclusions.

     To help individuals learn how to reach logical decisions, the first two chapters deal with the fundamentals of analysis and citation. Remaining chapters encompass topics such as archives and artifacts, business and institutional records, censuses, cemetery and church records, various local and state documents, and national government publications (from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia) in various forms which include printed works, microfilm, microfiche, CDs, videos, maps, radio and television broadcasts, websites, digital books, e-zines, and podcasts. Throughout the wide range of sources discussed, Mills presents samples of citations accessed through different media styles. In addition, she furnishes information about the location of sources, which may give researchers ideas for new paths of investigation.

     Throughout her book Mills provides examples of more than 1,000 citation forms. In this manner, she renders a worthy service for millions of people. Now considered the classic, authoritative guide on documentation, EVIDENCE EXPLAINED: CITING HISTORY SOURCES FROM ARTIFACTS TO CYBERSPACE is an invaluable reference work that should be in all public genealogical libraries as well as the personal libraries of serious genealogical and historical researchers.

     The 885-page hardback has two appendixes (a glossary and a bibliography) and two indexes (a standard topical and one for QuickCheck online citations). To the book's price of $59.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order 3843) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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