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Chicago Notes-Bibliography Citation Style

With few exceptions, Special References are listed only in notes and not in a bibliography. Examples below show proper form for notes, and bibliography where applicable. 

Classical Greek and Latin Sources

(CMS 14.256-266)

References to classical texts are ordinarily given only in notes. They are listed in a bibliography only when the information referenced is supplied by a modern editor. The numbers that identify the various parts of classical works, including books, sections, and lines remain the same in all editions, whether in the original language or in translation.

1. Plato, Republic 360e–361b

2. Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War 8.44.4

CMS 14.265: The rules for citing books are followed when citing a modern edition of a classical work, whether it is a specific edition, translation, or by page number.

1. Propertius, Elegies, ed. and trans. G. P. Goold, Loeb Classical Library 18 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), 45.


Propertius. Elegies. Edited and translated by G. P. Goold. Loeb Classical Library 18. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990.

Scriptural References

(CMS 14.252-254)

Like classical works, references to Jewish or Christian scriptures usually appear only in notes rather than in bibliographies. Note references to the Bible should include book (in abbreviated form), chapter, and verse but never a page number. A colon is used between chapter and verse. Since books and numbering are not identical in different versions, it is essential to identify which version is being cited.

1. 1 Thess. 4:11, 5:2–5, 5:14 (New Revised Standard Version).

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

(CMS 14.247)

Major dictionaries and encyclopedias, as well- known reference works, are normally cited in notes and not in bibliographies. The facts of publication are often omitted, but the edition must be specified if it is not the first. References to an alphabetically arranged work cite the item (not the volume or page number) preceded by s.v. (sub verbo) “under the word”; pl. s.vv.

1. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Umbria.”

Online versions of encyclopedias are cited in notes like the print editions, with the inclusion of an access date and the posted publication or revision date for the cited entry, if listed. If the article includes a recommended form for the URL, include it; otherwise, include a short form of the URL. (CMS 14.248)

1. Grove Music Online, s.v. “Toscanini, Arturo,” by David Cairns, accessed July 19, 2008,

For certain reference works—particularly those with substantial, authored entries—it may be appropriate to cite individual entries by author, much like contributions to a multiauthor book. Such citations may be included in a bibliography.


1. Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson, "Ann Catley (1745–1789),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), Accessed October 8, 2009. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4895.


Baldwin, Olive, and Thelma Wilson. “Ann Catley (1745–1789).” In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004–. Accessed October 8, 2009. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4895.

Manuscript and Archival Collections

(CMS 14.232-242)

Full identification of most unpublished material usually requires giving the title and date of the item, series title (if applicable), name of the collection, and name of the depository. It should be noted that citations of collections consulted online (which remain a relative rarity given the cost of digitizing the miscellaneous, nonstandard items typical of most manuscript collections) will usually be the same as citations of physical collections, aside from the addition of a URL or DOI.

1. Walter A. Lawrance, Thirty One Year Annual Report: Androscoggin River Studies, October 1973, Androscoggin River Studies, Box 6 Folder 3, Walter A. Lawrance Papers, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. 

Specific items are not included in a bibliography unless only one item from a collection is cited.

Androscoggin River Studies. Walter A. Lawrance Papers. Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. 

Interviews and Personal Communications

(CMS 14.218-219)

In whatever form interviews or personal communications exist, the citation normally begins with the name of the person interviewed or the person from whom the communication was received. The interviewer or recipient, if mentioned, comes second. Unpublished interviews are usually cited only in notes, though can appear in bibliographies depending on context.

Note Number. Name of interviewee, interviewed by Name of interviewer, place of interview, date of interview. 

Chris Schiff (Music Librarian), interviewed by Pete Schlax (Science Librarian), Ladd Library, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, November 18, 2015.

An interview that has already been published or broadcast is treated like an article in a journal or a chapter in a book. Interviews consulted online should include a URL or similar identifier and, for audiovisual materials, an indication of the medium (CMS 14.221).

1. Darcey Steinke, interview by Sam Tanenhaus and Dwight Garner, New York Times Book Review, podcast audio, April 22, 2007,

References to conversations (whether face-to-face or by telephone) or to letters, e-mail or text messages, and the like received by the author are usually run in to the text or given in a note. They are rarely listed in a bibliography.

Class Lectures

Lectures given in a class are cited as any lecture, with the speaker, title, location, and date required. 

Note Number. Presenter Name, "Title" (class lecture, [location], [date]). 

1. Lisa Maurizio, "Trigger Warnings and Classical Texts" (class lecture, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, October 9, 2015).