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Working with a text that makes extensive use of a secondary source that will be given in block quotation and cited. The secondary source, however, contained many original source citations which are to be included. We'll note the secondary source and not go straight to the original source as this is a new edition of a previously published work for which the author was known to draw from that secondary source.

Effectively distinguishing for the reader between these various sources within the block quotation is the issue. In the original 1950s edition, the author and editor (at OUP) were a bit careless with their citations, and some of what the author, who was not an academic, used from the secondary source was reproduced verbatim but sometimes without quotation marks or without being set in block quotation.

This is to be corrected in the new edition where all excerpted material must be clearly presented as such. For a lengthy passage taken from a secondary source, block quotation will now be used but it is crucial to note the original source citations as well.

So the question is, how to do this exactly? Using numbered note references for a paragraph in block quotation with, for example, three internal original citations gives us the problem of the final fourth citation reference number calling out the secondary source for the whole passage, coming last and not being readily distinguishable as the secondary source encompassing all the other citations. I believe we want the reader to know this first and then having any internal original citations noted.

I've considered possible solutions such as having the end of the block quotation (a secondary source) followed by an Arabic reference number to note the secondary source, and then for all the internal original citations to use symbols as reference marks. Or, placing the final secondary source reference number in brackets. Minimalist, but it creates a distinction.

Historiography is important in this republished text but I'm unsatisfied with the way of presenting distinctions between sources (secondary and original) in Chicago style, as well as between source citations and discursive/substantive notes. All footnotes are to be given as sidenotes (margin notes) in the new edition of the work. Nothing can be rewritten.


An excerpt is below. The symbol reference marks are asterisk (*), dagger (†), and double dagger (‡). I seldom see Arabic numeral reference marks and symbols together, but it does happen, for example in Keith Houston's #Shady Characters# (2014) on p. 7, visible in "Look Inside." He used symbols for discursive footnotes and numerals for endnotes/citations. However, though this shows symbols and numeric marks together, it's not exactly my situation where a lengthy block excerpt from a secondary source contains multiple citations for the original sources.

Here's an example from the book I'm struggling with. Just for the forum, the Arabic reference numbers are in brackets. The first part here is body text:

When, in the Stone Age, metals were discovered and an attempt was made to introduce them into general use, quite an uproar must have arisen and divided people into those who accepted it, and the many who rejected it. Argument and hesitation have continued; almost up to the present day, and we can still perceive faint reverberations of this struggle. According to [And here begins the secondary source block quotation by author Stern]

the Biblical story of the building of Solomon’s temple, the sound of iron tools >was not heard,* and the Mormon temple at Salt Lake City had still to be built >without iron. No bolts of iron were permitted in the repair of the Publican Bridge across the Tiber as late as the fall of the Roman Republic.† Stone knives were used by the Jews for circumcision and by Egyptians for embalming long after they had become familiar with iron. The first successful cast-iron plow, invented in the United States in 1797, was rejected by New Jersey farmers on the theory that cast iron poisoned the lands and stimulated the growth of weeds.‡ [9]

The footnote (margin notes) I currently have rendered as:

[9]. Stern, op. cit., p. 54. [Editor's note: This excerpt from the Stern report contains the following citations, the first two of which were included by Noble:

*1 Kings 6 : 7.

† Ernest W. Burgess, The Function of Socialization in Social Evolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1916), p. 16.

‡ Holland Thompson, The Age of Invention (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921) p. 11. Citation expanded this edition.]

One issue with this approach is the Arabic reference numeral at the end of the block quotation follows the double dagger for the primary source notation. It looks taboo. To find an example of how another publisher handled a similar text in an effective and elegant manner that still largely conforms to CMOS would be invaluable at this stage.

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  • 2
    Welcome to Academia.SE. Your question is much more likely to be answered if you can cut the length by a factor of 2 or 3.
    – cag51
    Mar 5, 2023 at 1:10
  • "All input and clarifying questions welcome." We are not a discussion forum. We are a Q&A site. Please add TL;DR so we know what you are asking.
    – Nobody
    Mar 5, 2023 at 3:57
  • Thank you - after 3 years of research and effort on this book, the questions can be complex. Unfortunately, there's not much to cut as its all relevant, but would it be helpful if I posted this in two parts? Mar 5, 2023 at 7:42
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    I think it is one question so should stay as one part, but it is so long that I might have misunderstood. There is plenty to cut - it may be all relevant but it is not all necessary. As for an answer, I am not sure I can understand the issue without spending a lot of time, but I would say the reference numeral following the double dagger is probably fine in such a complicated situation.
    – Oliver882
    Mar 5, 2023 at 9:41
  • Another possible approach to avoid mixing symbols and Arabic numbers might be to place reference numbers for the original notes in brackets or parentheses. Is this done in block quotations to distinguish reference numbers contained in the original source from final citation reference number? After months of wrestling with this, that strategy just came to mind. I've seen it employed somewhere just once, but I'm not familiar with it as a convention, and Chicago is silent on this. Is it indeed a convention? Mar 5, 2023 at 10:03

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If I were doing this, I would put the citation for the quote outside of the quote, and keep the citations from the quote inside of the quote.

For example:

Stern[9] reports:

the Biblical story of the building of Solomon’s temple, the sound of iron tools >was not heard,* and the Mormon temple at Salt Lake City had still to be built >without iron. No bolts of iron were permitted in the repair of the Publican Bridge across the Tiber as late as the fall of the Roman Republic.† Stone knives were used by the Jews for circumcision and by Egyptians for embalming long after they had become familiar with iron. The first successful cast-iron plow, invented in the United States in 1797, was rejected by New Jersey farmers on the theory that cast iron poisoned the lands and stimulated the growth of weeds.‡

*1 Kings 6 : 7.

† Ernest W. Burgess, The Function of Socialization in Social Evolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1916), p. 16.

‡ Holland Thompson, The Age of Invention (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921) p. 11.

[9]. Stern, op. cit., p. 54.

Notice that this puts the citations from the quote, whose accuracy you do not take responsibility for, inside of the quote, where they are clearly Stern's problem, not yours.

You can then comment on the citations in the quote (e.g., the difference between Stern and Noble) in either your text or your citation of Stern. If the difference in citations is significant to the argument you are making, I would suggest commenting in the main text; otherwise it can be relegated to the citation.

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  • Thank you for the response - the thought invested is appreciated. I cannot rewrite the text to helpfully intervene with "Stern (9) reports:" One of my tasks, as editor of this new edition of an influential tome by a renown architect, is to tidy up source citations and ensure that all sources are properly attributed and cited, including secondary ones. The author, working with OUP editors in the 1950s, was not given proper support as a non-academic in this regard, which leaves us where we are. However, altering his words is not allowed. Mar 6, 2023 at 23:55
  • All "repairs" must be in the form of editor notes "in this edition" added as footnotes/margin notes. Brackets are employed occasionally to indicate where the author mistranscribed or added (intentionally or not) to an excerpt from another source. I wonder about slightly modifying your example and placing the Stern citation (9) - without rewriting the text - at the very last word before the block begins, which would be at "According to (9)" (then block begins). Please look at this and share your thoughts. Thank you. Mar 7, 2023 at 0:00
  • @Typothalamus If you aren't allowed to change the text at all, then I think "According to [9]" will still follow the clarifying patten that I have suggested: keep quoted cites in the quote, non-quoted cites outside of the quote. It may be somewhat awkward, but I think it best follows the spirit of the task.
    – jakebeal
    Mar 7, 2023 at 1:46
  • I've formatted it now as described to evaluate. A bit awkward and I wish others could see/respond. Having a citation reference number apply to what follows instead of what precedes it, is unconventional. So I clarified in the note: "9. Stern, op. cit., p. 54. [Ed. note: This citation refers to following excerpt from the Stern report in block quotation below. Stern included three source citations within it. The third one, omitted in the original edition of the book, has been restored.]" Is another option is to put the Stern cite reference number in brackets at the end: "8, [9]"? Mar 7, 2023 at 3:10
  • Personally, I would find an end citation less desirable than a start citation in this circumstance. There are no really nice solutions I can see, however, given the constraints that you are operating under.
    – jakebeal
    Mar 7, 2023 at 11:09

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