History Chicago Style Citation Bibliography

Go to Notes and Bibliography Style

Go to Author-Date Style

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Chicago-style source citations come in two varieties: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. If you already know which system to use, follow one of the links above to see sample citations for a variety of common sources. If you are unsure about which system to use, read on.

Notes and Bibliography or Author-Date?

The notes and bibliography system is preferred by many working in the humanities—including literature, history, and the arts. In this system, sources are cited in numbered footnotes or endnotes. Each note corresponds to a raised (superscript) number in the text. Sources are also usually listed in a separate bibliography. The notes and bibliography system can accommodate a wide variety of sources, including unusual ones that don’t fit neatly into the author-date system.

The author-date system is more common in the sciences and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and year of publication. Each in-text citation matches up with an entry in a reference list, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Aside from the use of numbered notes versus parenthetical references in the text, the two systems share a similar style. Follow the links at the top of this page to see examples of some of the more common source types cited in both systems.

Most authors choose the system used by others in their field or required by their publisher. Students who are unsure of which system to use will find more information here.

For a more comprehensive look at Chicago’s two systems of source citation and many more examples, see chapters 14 and 15 of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Quick Tips:

  • Chicago: Humanities style citations use footnotes or endnotes, not parenthetical references. 
  • Write in the 3rd person, not 1st or 2nd. Don't use "I" or "you" or related words in your writing.
  • Indent the first line of each note by five spaces.
  • Start each note with its corresponding number, a period, and one space.
  • For the first footnote or endnote for a source, give the full citation information.
  • For subsequent notes, use use the author's name, title, and the page number.
  • If you use the same source two or more times in a row, use the abbreviation Ibid., followed by the page number.

To citebooks, check the front pages of the book or the record in the library catalog to find the publication information you need to format the citation. Sample Chicago style format for the first footnote or endnote for a print book:

1. Author's Name, Title of Book (Place of Publication: Publisher, Publication Date), Page Numbers.

To cite articles found in our library databases, check the article citation or article information page to find publication information.

Chicago style format 

Sample Chicago style format for the first footnote or endnote for an article from one of our library databases:

1. Author's Name, "Title of Article," Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication), Page Numbers, Name of Database, Database Vendor (or persistent/stable URL, accession number or doi). 

The 16th edition does not require the date accessed for articles from library databases. You could generally cite an online database journal article similar to a print journal article, but also add the database information, and an accession number or doi. 

Library databases may allow you export a citation or to save a citation in a particular format. You can then copy and paste the citation text into your footnote or endnote.

For example:

  • EBSCO databases, including Academic Search, select the include when saving/sending checkbox and select Chicago/Turabian:Humanities style from the drop-down Citation Format list.

Be sure to check with your instructor and follow requirements for your assignment.  Check the formatting and make any necessary corrections. 

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