Citations, yesterday, today, tomorrow.

Lately, there seems to be more and more people posting information from historical documents, and that is a good thing. However, there is a trend happening that people will do a post without giving any citation as to where the information is found originally. And while I do understand perhaps that people feel they are just too busy for such things, citations are important.

How else are we to differentiate between the posting (or reposting) of someone’s creative writing with claims that it is from a “historical document,” from something that actually exists.

 If I were to post the following, claiming that it came from a clipping of a heretofore undiscovered Hawaiian-Language Newspaper from the 1820s, how many people would take it as fact, even if there was no source given?

Captain Cook was seen arriving here today, the 2nd of January, 1825, with a great number of mules. And it was called… [Please be aware that nothing about this example is based on truth!]

pulukeke

Some newspaper somewhere in the 1820s

The same goes for paintings and photographs and so forth. If the original is held at the Hawaiian Historical Society, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the Kauai Museum, &c., let’s credit it as such, so that people know where it is being cared for; and should someone want to obtain a high-resolution copy, they will not have to spend hours looking for it. Let’s help each other out. There are more important things to research than where the original of a painting or journal entry or newspaper article can be found.

2 thoughts on “Citations, yesterday, today, tomorrow.

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