Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Chicago Citation Style

How To Cite Primary Sources?

There is no one rule or set of rules for citing primary sources in the Chicago Manual of Style; the format of the note and bibliographical entry will depend on the type of material from where the source originates. The links below will provide guidance for how to craft citations for primary sources based on type. 

Citations from Secondary Sources

While it is generally discouraged, it is possible to cite a source that was quoted in a secondary source. If an original source is otherwise unavailable, it is cited as "quoted in..." and both the original and secondary sources must be listed. If the primary source is fully reproduced, as in a published anthology of sources, it can be cited as you would a chapter or book section; see also instructions for citing letters above.

1. E.E. Cummings, "A Poet's Advice to Students," Ottawa Hills Spectator, October 26, 1955, quoted in George J. Firmage, ed., E.E. Cummings: A Miscellany Revised, (New York: October House Inc, 1965), 335. 

Cummings, E.E. "A Poet's Advice to Students." Ottawa Hills Spectator, October 26, 1955, quoted in Firmage, George J., ed. E.E. Cummings: A Miscellany Revised. 335. New York: October House Inc, 1965.

Legal and public documents

Legal and public documents, including court cases, legislation, and other government documents have special citation forms based on The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. CMS accounts for certain basic rules of citation, but defaults to The Bluebook. A copy of this guide is available in the Bates Reference collection on the first floor.