Citations to “America’s Obituaries”

I’m making an effort to update all my citations to something more comprehensive than my previous notes. They’re sufficient for me to find items, but probably not enough for other people. My current dilemma is how to cite obituaries listed in America’s Obituaries that’s part of the GenealogyBank service available through the Seattle Public Library. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything directly on point in Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained.

When a service has scanned images of a newspaper, I’ve been citing the article at the newspaper, available at the service. For example, article X from the Capital Times, date D, page Y, accessed at at URL, blah blah blah. GenealogyBank offers a similar service.

But the America’s Obituaries database is transcriptions rather than images, with a citation to the newspaper and day of publication. It does not always include the page number. As best I can tell, I should be citing the America’s Obituaries database with a notation that they cite a source. That’s because in this case I don’t trust the service to provide a 100% accurate transcription. There are other obituary aggregation services that I’m even less sure of.

There are additional complications. The database is made available through the Seattle Public Library. The database name is sometimes different when offered through other providers. For instance, if I bought a subscription to GenealogyBank on my own, they call it simply Newspaper Obituaries. And possibly the content of the database is different when accessed through different portals. So do I cite GenealogyBank or the Seattle Public Library. I should probably have both there somewhere, but I can’t find anything in EE that addresses this. It talks about citing the publisher of the database, but not the portal.

The following is what I have for an obit that cites a specific page, but I haven’t quite figured out how shoehorn the Seattle Public Library in there, though it sorta shows up in the URL.

America’s Obituaries, online database, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 3 Aug 2012), “Edward bender”, obituary, 7 Apr 2000; citing The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota), 7 Apr 2000, page 13A.

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