Technical, Research, and Archival Documents

Technical and Research Documents

Most technical documents, whether it is a corporate or governmental agency producing it, follow the same format.  Report No. is very generic and should be changed according to the database or service that produces it. For example, the National Technical Information Service number would be represented as (NTIS No. xxx), while the Educational Resources Information Center would be (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. xxx).  Look at how the publisher lists the report and use their corresponding system.  If no system can be found, you can use Report No.

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work (Report No. xxx). Location: Publisher

—If the author and publisher are the same, Author may be used in the publication information.  Be sure to list the organization’s entire name, including subcommittees, in the author section. (American Psychological Association, Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls)

—If the report is retrieved online, Retrieved from takes the place of Location: Publisher.

—Be sure to include the name of the publisher in the Retrieved from phrase: Retrieved from Agency name website:

  • Report Available from the Government Printing Office (GPO)

Hamilton, B. E. (2012). Birth rates for U.S. teenagers reach historic lows for all ages and ethnic groups. (DHHS Publication No. PHS 2012-1209.0276-4733). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

  • Corporate Author, Government Report

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Leath, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2011, September). In brief: Your guide to anemia (NIH Publication No. 11-7629A). Retrieved from

  • Issue Brief

Organization Acting as Author. (Year). Title of the document (Issue Brief No. xx). Location: Publisher.

Archival Documents and Collections

Archival documents are any kind of unpublished materials (manuscripts, letters, photographs) and limited or one-of-a-kind published materials (in-house corporate documents, clippings from historic newspapers) that are in private or public collections.  SEMO has a number of these types of materials located in the Rare Book Room in Kent Library, which houses, among others, the Charles L. Harrison Collection and the Louis Daniel Brodsky-William Faulkner Collection.

Though there is a general format for citing these materials, it can be modified more or less as needed to ensure others are able to find the specific material in the collection.  Include as much information as needed to search the collections.  Use brackets to indicate any information not on the document itself and question marks if the information is uncertain due to poor/lost materials. 

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of the material. [Description of the material]. Name of Collection (Call number, Box number, File name or number, etc.). Name of Repository, Location.

If the document is in possession of the person writing the paper it is being cited in, the collection, repository, and location may be substituted with Copy in possession of author.

  • Letter from a Repository
    If it is not a part of a collection, the name of the repository is moved in place of the collection name.

Smith, J. (1953, March 17). [Letter to Johnson J. Jones]. Made Up Collection (Series 2.1, Box 213, Folder 2314) Southeast Missouri State University, Rare Book Room, Cape Girardeau, MO.

  • Letter from a Private Collection

Author of Letter, A. A. (1856, March 13). [Letter to Full Name of Recipient]. Copy in possession of Full Name of Owner.

  • Collection of Letters from an Archive
    When citing multiple letters in a collection, cite the entire collection on the reference page and the individual letters in-text.

Author of Collection, A. A. (1856–1864). Correspondence. Name of Collection (Call number, Box number, etc.). Name of Repository, Location.

In-text Citation:
(Author of Collection, A. A., Year-Range, Author to Recipient, Date of Letter)

(Smith, J., 1952–1954, Smith to J. Jones, March 17, 1953)
(Smith, J., 1952–1954, J. Jones to Smith, August 27, 1954)

  • Interview Recorded and Available in an Archive

Person being interviewed, A. A. (Date of interview). Interview by A. A. Name [Tape recording]. Name of Collection. Name of Repository, Location.

Smith, J. (1952, July 2). Interview by J. Jones [Tape recording]. Made Up Collection. Southeast Missouri State University, Rare Book Room, Cape Girardeau, MO.

  • Transcription of a Recorded Interview, No Recording Available

Person being interviewed, A. A. (Date of interview). Title of the transcript. Name of Collection. (Call number, Box number, etc.). Name of Repository, Location.

  • Newspaper Article, Historical, in an Archive or Personal Collection

Title of article. (Year, Month Day). [Type of document] Name of Collection (Call number, Box number, etc.). Name of Repository, Location.

This is a title. (1935, December 26). [Clipping from an unidentified Cape Girardeau, MO newspaper]. Copy in possession of author.

  • Photographs

[Photographs of Full Name of Person/s]. (ca. Year-Range) Name of Collection (Call number, Box number, etc.) Name of Repository, Location.


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