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MLA

Entire Web Site

The Web site of the Library of Congress connects users to content areas created by the Library’s many experts. In some cases, content can be posted without a clear indication of author, title, publisher or copyright date. Look for available clues and give as much information as possible, including the URL and date accessed.

MLA Citation Format
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., section 5.6.1)

Structure

  1. Name of the author, compiler, director, editor, narrator, performer, or translator of the work
  2. Title of the work (italicized if the work is independent; in roman type and quotation marks if the work is part of a larger work)
  3. Title of the overall Web site (italicized), if distinct from item 2
  4. Version or edition used
  5. Publisher or sponsor of the site; if not available use N.p.
  6. Date of publication
  7. Medium of publication (Web)
  8. Date of access
  9. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last name, First name. “Section of Website.” Title of the Web site. Version/Edition. Name of publisher or sponsor. Date of publication. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Lib. of Cong. U.S. Govt. Web. 10 February 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/>.

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Cartoons and Illustrations

Cartoons and illustrations included in newspapers, magazines or other periodicals often represent the historical perspectives and opinions of the time of publication. This illustration, Join or Die from the May 9, 1754, Pennsylvania Gazette, was published by Benjamin Franklin and expresses his views about the need for the colonies to join forces to confront their mutual concerns with England. This is often referred to as the first political cartoon.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., section 5.7.9 and 5.6.2c)

Structure

  1. Artist last name, artist first name
  2. Title of work (in quotation marks)
  3. Format (cartoon, etc.)
  4. Publication information
    • a. Newspapers: Italics indicate name of print publication followed by location in brackets if necessary or source followed by date with no punctuation in between); include the page if necessary after a semi-colon
    • b. Journals: Volume number followed by date of publication (in parentheses) followed by a semi-colon and the page number(s)
    • c. Books: City, followed by a semi-colon, name of the publisher followed by the date of publication (preceded by a comma). If referencing page numbers, include them after a semi-colon following the date of publication.
  5. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  6. Medium (Web)
  7. Date of access
  8. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last Name, First Name. “Title.” Cartoon. Newspaper title [Location] Day Month Year of publication: page number. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Franklin, Benjamin. "Join or Die." Cartoon. The Pennsylvania Gazette 9 May 1754. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002695523/>.

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Films

Films and other moving images offer visual tools for studying not only the technology of a time, but the prevailing social attitudes, as well.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.3 and 5.6.2d)

Structure

  1. Film Title (italicized)
  2. Director Name or relevant creator name, e.g., Dir. John Doe
  3. Distributor, year of release
  4. Title of database or Web site (italicized)
  5. Medium of publication (Web)
  6. Date of access
  7. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Film Title. Dir. First name Last Name. Distributor, year of release. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Bargain Day, 14th Street, New York. Photog. Frederick S. Armitage. American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1905. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Aug. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/item/00694373>.

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Government Publications

An excerpt from pages 747 & 748 of the Annals of Congress

An excerpt from pages 747 & 748 of the Annals of Congress

Many government publications originate through executive departments, federal agencies, and the United States Congress. Many of the documents are chronicled records of government proceedings, which become part of the Congressional Record. These documents are often posted without a clear indication of author, title, publisher or copyright date. Look for available clues and give as much information as possible, including date accessed.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.5.20 and 5.6.2c)

Structure

  1. Name of government
  2. Name of agency
  3. Title of the publication (italicized)
  4. If the title is a serial publication, follow title with date, e.g., 10 January 2012: page numbers.
  5. Place of publication: publisher, year published.
  6. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  7. Medium of publication (Web)
  8. Date of access
  9. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Government. Agency name. Title of Publication. Day Month Year of publication: page numbers. Place of publication: Publisher, Year published. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

United States House of Representatives. “Proceedings. 2nd Congress, 2nd sess.” Annals of Congress. 747-48. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1849. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llac&fileName=llac003.db&recNum=370>.

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Manuscripts

The Library of Congress online collections include letters, diaries, recollections, and other written material. One example is this letter from Helen Keller to Mr. John Hitz. Helen describes her trip to Chicago to visit the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.12 and 5.6.2d).

Structure

  1. Author last name, author first name
  2. Title (italicized, or quotation marks for a minor work)
  3. Date of composition
  4. Form of the material – MS for manuscript, TS for typescript
  5. Name of library, institution, or collection which houses the work, followed by the location
  6. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  7. Medium (if from the Web)
  8. Date of access
  9. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last name, First name. “Title.” Date. Form of the material. Institution, city. Title of the Web site. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Keller, Helen. “Letter to John Hitz 29 Aug. 1893.” 1893. TS. Lib. of Cong., Washington, D.C. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/item/magbellbib004020>.

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Maps and Charts

Maps are far more than just maps of cities and towns. They document historical places, events, and populations, as well as growth and changes over time. This map is from the Library of Congress online collections.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.8 and 5.6.2c)

Structure

  1. Title (italicized; in roman type and quotation marks if the work is part of a larger work)
  2. Format (map or chart)
  3. If part of a larger work, include that title (italicized) after the format
  4. Location: publisher, date
  5. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  6. Medium (Web)
  7. Date of access
  8. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Title. Map. Location: publisher, date. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Map of the West Coast of Africa from Sierra Leone to Cape Palmas, including the Colony of Liberia. Map. Philadelphia: Finley, 1830. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/item/96680499>.

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Newspapers

The Stars and Stripes

An excerpt from The Stars and Stripes

Historic newspapers provide a glimpse of historic time periods. The articles, as well as the advertising, are an appealing way to get a look at the regions of the country or the world and the issues of the day.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., section 5.4.5 and 5.6.2c)

Structure

  1. Author last name, author first name (if applicable)
  2. Title of article (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of newspaper (italicized), city of publication if needed (square brackets, not italicized) and date published (with no punctuation in between)
  4. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  5. Medium (Web)
  6. Date of access
  7. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper [city] Day Month Year published. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

“Services Plan to Aid Returned Men in Securing Jobs.” The Stars and Stripes 13 Dec. 1918. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/np_item.pl?collection=sgpsas&agg=sgpsas&iss=19181213&page=1>.

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Photographs

Photographs and drawings appear in many of the Library of Congress digitized historical collections. This photograph from the Library's online collections shows casualties of war on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.6 and 5.6.2d)

Structure

  1. Artist last name, artist first name
  2. Title (italicized)
  3. Date of composition
  4. Format (photograph)
  5. Institution that houses the work, city where the piece is located
  6. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  7. Medium (Web)
  8. Date of access
  9. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last name, First name. Title. Date of composition. Photograph. Institution, City. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

O'Sullivan, Timothy H. Incidents of the War. A Harvest of Death. c1865. Photograph. Lib. of Cong., Washington D.C. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/cwp2003001110/PP/>.

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Sound Recordings

This recording of Mrs. Ben Scott and Myrtle B. Wilkinson performing Haste to the Wedding is an example of Anglo-American dance music on the fiddle and tenor banjo recorded on October 31, 1939.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., sections 5.7.2 and 5.6.2d)

Structure

  1. Creator last name, creator first name
  2. Title (italicized)
  3. Any additional performers are listed here – first name followed by last name
  4. When citing a performance, list the date of the performance here, with the abbreviation “rec.” preceding the date
  5. Manufacturer and year published/issued
  6. Indicate the original audio format (CD, audiocassette, etc.)
  7. Title of the database or Web site (italicized)
  8. Medium (Web)
  9. Date of access
  10. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last name, First name. Song title. Perf. First name Last name. Rec. Day Month Year. Manufacturer, Year. Original format. Title of the Web site. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Scott, Mrs. Ben, and Myrtle B. Wilkinson. Haste to the Wedding. Rec. 31 October 1939 by Sydney Robertson Cowell. 78 rpm. Lib. of Cong. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/item/afccc.a4227b4>.

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Special Presentations or Features

Special presentations, articles, and essays include examples that illustrate collection themes. Many collections include specific items, such as timelines, family trees or scholarly essays, which are not primary source documents. Such content has been created to enhance understanding of the collection.

MLA Citation Format:
(MLA Handbook, 7th ed., section 5.6.2b)

Structure

  1. Author last name, author first name
  2. Title (italicized if independent; in roman type and quotation marks if the work is part of a larger work)
  3. Title of the overall Web site (italicized)
  4. Version or edition
  5. Publisher; if not available, use N.p.
  6. Date of publication (day, month, year); if nothing is available, use n.d.
  7. Medium (Web)
  8. Date of access
  9. URL (in angle brackets) – optional

Examples:
Last name, First name. Title. Title of the Web site. Version or edition. Publisher or N.p. Day Month Year of publication or n.d. Web. Day Month Year of access. <opt. URL>.

Brief History of the National Parks. Lib. of Cong. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <http://www.loc.gov/collection/national-parks-maps/special-presentation/>.

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