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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey

Guide to using the microfilm and digital versions of the Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey, a collection consisting of a file of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities in Chicago.

General Remarks

Purposes of citation (credit to somebody for his or her work, identify the work accurately enough that a reader could locate a copy). . . All your citations should satisfy these criteria.

This guide uses Chicago Style.

As a historical source, the CFLPS is unusual: a collection of articles that have been excerpted, translated, edited, and re-presented in a new format. Each article in the CFLPS is multiple steps removed from its original manifestation. This situation poses a special challenge to the historian because every time a historical document is edited, translated, or republished, the meaning of the original document gets distorted, even if only a little. Therefore, when citing articles from the CFLPS, you must make it clear to your reader that you are not citing the original publication, but an edited and translated version.

It's important that you not introduce new errors into the historical record through careless transcription, or false assumptions. Transcribe information exactly as you see it printed on the source itself. It is possible that errors have been introduced through the editing and translation process, but you should not try to correct those errors in the citation. You may, in the body of your paper, speculate on the accuracy of the source, you may even present irrefutable evidence that the article being cited came from a different publication, or appeared on a different date, but your citation should still describe the source exactly as the source presents itself.

The Basic Elements of the Citation

For unsigned articles, the name of the newspaper stands in for the name of the author.

While initial articles (e.g. "The") are omitted in the names of English-language newspapers, they are retained in foreign-language papers. So it would be Die Abendpost, not Abendpost, if the initial article is used on the source itself. Within the CFLPS, newspaper titles are often rendered both ways, for example, Abendpost and Die Abendpost. These discrepancies could be due to errors, to inconsistently applied policy, or to an actual title change, so it's best to transcribe the title exactly as you see it. Don't add an initial article if you don't see it on the piece itself.

For American newspapers, the place of publication is added before the title, and italicized along with the title. So, Chicago Abendpost, not Abendpost. In the CFLPS, you can probably infer that the place of publication is Chicago, but you have to decide that for yourself. Technically, when you are surmising the place of publication, it should be enclosed in brackets and followed by a question mark. So you could transcribe Abendpost as [Chicago?] Abendpost if you wanted to be correct

If there's no author, and the name of the newspaper is standing in for the author, then you next include the headline, enclosed in quotation marks.

Next comes the translation statement. The translator is "Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project", and they are also the editor. So, "Translated and edited by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project" is your translation statement. Here too, you should be cautious: not every article in the CFLPS has been translated. There are, for example, articles in the collection from the Chicago Tribune that were not translated, but that were probably edited. Again, if you doubt whether what you have is actually a translation, you could enclose it in brackets: [Translated?] and edited by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project.

Next comes the date.

Finally, the name of the digital collection, which is usually represented by its URL. Since there is not a suitable URL for this collection, you may identify it by name, but provide enough information for the reader to locate the document within the collection. For example: Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey: Jewish, volume 3, II.E.1.

Example Citations

[Chicago?] World. "Jewish Quarter Terrorized by Baker Bosses Association." [Translated?] and edited by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project. October 19, 1917. Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey: Jewish, volume 3, II.E.1.