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Chicago Notes-Bibliography Citation Style

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is used most frequently in the humanities, history, and the arts.  CMS outlines two different systems of citation: Notes and Bibliography  & Author-Date.

CMS Notes & Bibliography is the only style that fully defines and supports footnotes.

The examples in this guide will use the CMS Notes and Bibliography system.

For Author-Date citations, please see the CMS Section 15, and this guide to in-text citations.

The Two Chicago Styles

Notes & Bibliography

Notes and Bibliography is commonly used in humanities and history, and is the only current citation style that fully accommodates and provides rules for footnotes/endnotes.  Consider using the Notes and Bibliography system for any paper where footnotes/endnotes are required or if you need to document:

  • primary sources such as letters and manuscripts in archives
  • personal communications (informal discussions, emails, letters)
  • photos, images, and sculptures
  • classical and religious works that might be inappropriate for either a bibliography or parenthetical citation

Notes and Bibliography also allows authors to maintain a flow within main body of a text while at the same time providing convenient locations for:

  • translations
  • commentary and explanations
  • alternative sources
  • author's asides or a combination of citations and commentary


Chicago Author-Date style is a parenthetical style like APA, and is commonly used in anthropology, politics, economics, and other social science disciplines.

Chicago/Turabian Quick Guides

Official quick guides for basic citation questions, including both parenthetical and footnote citations:

Sample Papers