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Miscellaneous Sources

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This page covers types of media you may want to cite that don’t properly fit into any of the previous pages. If you are attempting to cite a source that you can find neither on this page nor any of the others in the Chicago section, consult the CMOS or model your citation on the example that most closely resembles your source.


This entry covers the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines for citing lectures, papers presented at meetings or poster sessions, and other similar presentations. Such entries often include the sponsorship, location, and date of the meeting following the title. When such texts are published, they should be treated like a chapter in a book or article in a journal. If the material is available online, include a URL at the end of your citation. The model is as follows:


1. Firstname Lastname, “Title of Lecture” (medium, sponsorship, location, date).


Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Lecture.” Medium at sponsorship, location, date.

Note that not all lectures have titles – if you are, for instance, citing a lecture given by a professor to his class, there may be no title to provide. In this case, feel free to skip that portion of the citation.


2. Paul Hanstedt, “This is Your Brain on Writing: The Implications of James Zull’s The Art of Changing the Brain for the Writing Classroom” (presentation, Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA, March 12, 2009).


Hanstedt, Paul. “This is Your Brain on Writing: The Implications of James Zull’s The Art of Changing the Brain for the Writing Classroom.” Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA, March 2009.

Visual Arts

This entry can be applied to paintings, sculptures, and all forms of visual art. (Music and other performing arts are covered under LINK:“Audiovisual Recordings and Other Multimedia.”) As usual, these must be cited with title, creator, and date as available, but the nature of these sources requires that you also provide medium, dimensions, and physical location, as follows:


3. Firstname Lastname, Title, date, medium, height × width × depth (unit conversion), location.


Lastname, Firstname. Title. Date. Medium, height × width × depth (unit conversion). Location.

There is some flexibility in portions of this citation. “Date” can be as simple as the year the piece of art was completed; it can be specific enough to include a season, month, or even a day. There might also be complications to acknowledge. In analog photography, for example, the date the photo was taken and the day it was developed into the print you are referencing are probably different; you might acknowledge that with something like “Spring 2013, printed 2018.” You may also have to give a date range if the specific year is unknown. “Location” might be a museum where it is on display, a private collection, or a publication in which it is reproduced; though, if possible, you should always cite the original rather than a reproduction.

You may find “Dimensions” unfamiliar, but most museums and the like will provide you with the medium and dimensions as part of the display or their website; these are standard attributes by which artwork is catalogued. Note that, when dealing with two-dimensional pieces such as paintings or photographs, you will use only height and width; “height” refers to the vertical dimension when the painting is hung on the wall in its correct orientation. Three-dimensional pieces will also include “depth.” Note that it is encouraged to provide dimensions in both imperial and metric units – use whichever the displaying institution gives, then follow it with a conversion in parentheses.

If images of the piece are available online, you should provide a URL at the end of your citation. 


4. Caspar David Friedrich, Der Mönch am Meer, 1808–10, oil on canvas, 110 cm × 171.5 cm (43 in × 67.5 in), Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany,
5. The Swimming Reindeer, 11th millennium BCE, mammoth ivory, 20.7 cm × 3 cm × 2.7 cm (8.1 in × 1.2 in × 1.1 in), British Museum, London, England. 
6. Ivan Frederick, The Hooded Man, 2003, photograph, The Economist, cover, May 8, 2004.


Friedrich, Caspar David. Der Mönch am Meer. 1808-10. Oil on canvas, 110 cm × 171.5 cm (43 in × 67.5 in). Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.
The Swimming Reindeer. 11th millennium BCE. Mammoth ivory, 20.7 cm × 3 cm × 2.7 cm (8.1 in × 1.2 in × 1.1 in). British Museum, London, England.
Frederick, Ivan. The Hooded Man. 2003. Photograph. The Economist, cover, May 8, 2004.

Ancient, Sacred, Medieval, or Classic Texts

Some texts have been reprinted and re-translated so often over the centuries that conventional citations are counterproductive. If, for instance, you cited page 73 of Beowulf, your reader may be unable to find that reference – there are dozens of different translations and editions out there, very few of which share pagination. Even if you specify the edition, that may frustrate readers who have other editions. However, nearly all editions of Beowulf have the same line-numbering system, so citing line 2145 will be accessible to everyone. This same concept, on a larger scale, is what we call “classical citation”.

Classical citation applies only to old, widely-circulated texts with many varied editions. In classical citation, rather than follow page number, you simply follow whatever organizational scheme the author set up, as well as a line number for poetic works. This is used only in note citations – in the bibliography, you are expected to cite the book as normal, so that all the information on your specific edition is provided. The format is extremely simple, and goes as follows:


7. Author, Title, number.number.number.

It is considerate to your reader to specify the edition, translator, numbering  system, or any other relevant information in the very first note citation:


8. Author, Title (Firstname Lastname’s numbering), number.number.number., trans. Firstname Lastname, ed. Firstname Lastname (City: Publisher, year).

Note that you should only include those details if they’re relevant – it is rare, for instance, that there are competing numbering systems that would require you to specify whose you are using. Often the editor is the translator, and therefore does not need to be cited twice. In all subsequent note citations, use only the brief classical citation.

The numbers by which you cite a specific passage in one of these texts vary depending on the type of text you are using. For an epic poem, you should use “book.line”; for classic plays, you should use “act.scene.line.”; for many medieval and classical texts, you should use “book.chapter.section”, if all three are provided. Some texts, like Plato’s or Aristotle’s works, have their own specialized numbering systems. Prose texts that were not divided into chapters and sections by the author are often just cited by paragraph number. Sacred texts generally use colons instead of periods and cite “chapter:verse” – however, if you are citing a sacred text from any religion you are not intimately familiar with, you should check and see what system the adherents of that religion have developed for their text, or at least follow conventions set down by authoritative scholarship.

There are a few additional quirks in classical citation. For instance, if you are citing the Bible, you must specify which version you are using in every note citation, due to the wide variation from one to another. Many classical texts and authors have official abbreviations you can use if you want to shorten your citations still further – the catalog of these abbreviations is maintained by the Oxford Classical Dictionary. If you feel it is necessary, you can also include labels such as “bk.”, “para.”, “line”, “chap.”, and so forth in the first note, in which case you would write it more like this:


Author, Title, bk. number, chap. number, sec. number.

The following examples cover a range of different types of texts that commonly use classical citation.


9. Gilgamesh, tablet 2, lines 111-4.
10. Matthew 10:34 (NRSV).
11. Tac., Germ., para. 40.
12. Milton, Paradise Lost, 1.620.
13. Beowulf  86-9, ed. Friedrich Klaeber (Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1950).
14. Qur’an 45:6.
15. Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.342.

Reference Works

This entry covers publications such as dictionaries, encyclopediae, style guides, and the like. There are a few relevant differences between citing these works and a regular book; all of these differences apply to the note form, not the bibliography form, however, so we will only have examples in note format. Other than the differences noted below, you may cite reference works as you would any other publication of that medium.

First, any such work that is organized into sections will be cited by said sections, rather than by page number, like the classical works above:


16. The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017), 14.232.

Works organized into entries, such as dictionaries, will be cited by entry. However, rather than treat them like a chapter or section in a standard book, you treat them like a page number. This is marked by the abbreviation s.v., which stands for sub verbo, ‘under the word’. If your citation refers to multiple entries, indicate this by typing s.vv. instead, then listing the entries. Note that the s.v. is placed at the very end for print sources, but for online sources, it is followed by the “last modified”date and the URL.


17. Wikipedia, s.v. “Potawatomi Trail of Death,” last modified February 5, 2019, 05:02, 

Particularly well-known and reliable reference works, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, need not appear in the bibliography at all, but can be cited only in the notes. These citations only require the name of the work, the edition/year, and the entry in question:


18. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed (1989), s.v. “Dalek.”