Guidelines for Producing Local and Family Histories
This leaflet is designed to assist you in producing local or family histories of enduring value. Our goal is to help you create a solidly constructed and practical publication. Because these guidelines will guarantee a long and
useful life for your history, we hope you will incorporate them into your production plans.
The leaflet is made up of three parts:
- Specifications for Producing the Text: Because we have heard that many of you do not have access to information on producing books, we know
you will welcome the suggestions about arrangement, title, pagination, index, copyright, and updating.
- Specifications for Commercially Bound Texts: If you are using a commercial publisher or bindery, please make this section available to that company so
that you can ensure the best possible product for long-term use.
Organizations are welcome to copy these guidelines for distribution, provided that they cite the Georgia Archives as the source.
Specifications for Producing the Text
- Arrangement: Outline your project to provide a logical and understandable arrangement. Alphabetical or chronological order may provide a
useful organizational system. Explain any generational numbering system used for family histories.
- Title: The title of the book appears on the volume's spine, cover, and title page. These titles are always identical. Accuracy
on the title page is vital because it serves as the source for cataloging information. A good title conveys the content of the book. When abstracting county records, include the
state in the title. A straightforward title usually includes a proper name (such as a family name or a locale) and the type of record included (such as marriage records, deeds,
cemetery records, a county history, or a family history). Inclusive dates are helpful. For example, Thomas County, Georgia, Marriage Records, 1830-1860 is a much clearer and
more informative title than Matrimonial Evidence of Thomas. Avoid romanticized titles such as The Builders of Bounty that do not provide any concrete information
to the researcher. If the book is part of a series, coordinate the titles and include volume numbers. If a book is produced as a continuation of an earlier volume, explain this
fact to your readers in the preface to the second volume. Volumes of a series adhere to a standard height and appearance (see binding specifications).
- Reprint: Do not alter the title of a book being reprinted. State that it is a reprint and provide the "new" date (the reprint
date) as well as the original publication date. State if the work is a revision -- that is, if it has had minor corrections made to the original edition.
- Date: The year of publication appears on the title page.
- Ordering Instructions: Provide ordering instructions on the back (verso) of the title page, even if they may remain in effect for only a short time. State the price and the complete mailing address, including the zip code.
- Copyright: When a work is created in fixed form, such as print, it is automatically copyrighted. The copyright notice appears on the back (verso) of the title page. Although registering copyright is not required, even unregistered copyrighted works should be deposited with the
Library of Congress (LC). A deposit protects the author by establishing a public record of copyright claim. The deposit must consist of two copies of the work (in addition to the copy furnished to the Cataloging in Publication Division for the assignment of an LC control number). For complete information on the registration
process, write to the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 20559.
- Library of Congress Control Number: Publishers (who may be individuals) can request that the Library of Congress preassign a Library of Congress Control Number through its Preassigned Control Number Program . Items not intended for wide distribution to libraries other than genealogies
are not eligible for the PCN program. To receive an LC control number, books other than genealogies must be at least fifty pages long. The Library of Congress will accept genealogies of any length. The publisher submits an electronic application available at the PCN web site. Most applications are processed in one to two weeks. Not all PCN books receive Library of Congress cataloging. One copy of the book must be donated to LC when published (in addition to the two copies furnished to the Copyright Office). The control number furnished by the Library of Congress appears on the back (verso) of the title page.
- Non-Text Particulars: Books may include such components as tables of contents, lists of illustrations, prefaces or forewords, appendixes, tables, bibliographies, footnotes, and indexes. A table of contents, index,
and some method of identifying your sources are the most important elements. A full-name index is necessary if a book is to be useful. Cite all source material on which your book is based, in footnotes or endnotes to the text and at the
end of the volume in a bibliography. Please do not include photocopies of source material acquired from public records; a source citation to these records is sufficient. Also, do not quote more than a few sentences from any source without permission. A
separate list can identify visuals such as maps, photographs, and illustrations. Be sure to obtain permission if you use an illustration from a published source. The preface can explain the project and summarize where and how you obtained materials. If records
have been abstracted, tell the reader how you compiled your materials (e.g., from microfilm, from a visit to the county courthouse, from some other source). Let your readers know how to get more complete copies of records. You may wish to include a short
biographical sketch about the author/compiler to give readers an understanding of why this individual became involved with the project.
- Pagination: Number the pages in your text. Pages are usually numbered with Arabic numerals, beginning with the first page of the main text. Lower-case Roman numerals can be assigned to front matter such as the preface or
introduction, allowing the later addition of material (dedication page, acknowledgments, etc.) after you have paginated the main text.
- Updates: The Georgia Archives discourages authors from creating updates that need to be attached to the original completed works. Because we will need to file such updates separately, they should be published as sequels or included in
- Preparation: Proofread all texts and check all facts carefully.
- Boyer, Carl. How to Publish and Market Your Family History. Newhall, California: Boyer, 1982.
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, revised and expanded. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993.
- Felt, Thomas E. Researching, Writing and Publishing Local History. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1981.
- Lackey, Richard S. Cite Your Sources: A Manual for Documenting Family Histories and Genealogical Records. New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1980.
- Seeber, Edward D. A Style Guide for Genealogists: Manuscript Preparation for Photocopy. Bloomington, Indiana: Heirloom Press, 1981.
Specifications for Texts Not Commercially Bound
Because of the amount of used books received, the Georgia Archives prefers hard-bound volumes. We can no longer accept paper-bound books or books with spiral, comb, loose-leaf, or staple binding.
Specifications for Commercially Bound Texts
Please provide your publisher or bindery with the following specifications. Provide them with a complete list of the material you are mailing or delivering.
- Paper and Ink: Use white or off-white, alkaline paper for text and end papers. The paper stock should adhere to
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z39.48-1992. This standard requires that the paper be made of cotton or 100% chemically purified wood pulp; have a minimum pH of 7.5 and a minimum alkaline reserve of 2%; and
contain less than 1% percent lignin. Use black, carbon-based ink for text and images. Only black-and-white photocopies produced on xerographic copiers using papers meeting the
standard specified above are acceptable. Color photocopies are unstable. Do not use coated papers. These papers create binding difficulties and are also difficult to salvage should
they become wet. Do not reinforce papers in any manner.
- Layout: Print pages on both sides of the paper. Only texts with fewer than 50 pages may be printed on one side.
- Margins: Use margins of at least 1 inch on the side to be bound (gutter) and at least 1 inch on the outside (fore edge) of the page. Use
margins of at least 1 inch at the top and bottom.
- Cloth: Bind items in a good quality cloth (e.g., buckram, linen/polyester, cotton/polyester) that is both durable and aesthetically
pleasing. Bind volumes in a series uniformly.
- Leaf Attachment: Sew items through the fold, or double-fan adhesive bind.
- Size: Do not create bound volumes larger than 3 inches thick and 12 inches tall.
- Bookplates: Bookplates should adhere to standards for paper and ink as previously noted in Section 1. Please do not attach bookplates. Place
them in an envelope to accompany the text.
- Photographs: Because original photographs accompanying text present difficult security and preservation problems, we request that
photographs be photocopied or electronically scanned and then reproduced onto papers that meet the specifications outlined above in Section 1.
- Extraneous Materials: Because extraneous materials included with texts can present security and preservation problems, do not
send us such items. Please check with the Georgia Archives Preservation Office (678-364-3761) for guidelines on including maps, charts, etc.
- Cataloging in Publication: Established publishers can apply for the Cataloging in Publication
(CIP) program of the Library of Congress.
(Works that receive a preassigned control number are not eligible to receive CIP data.) If a book is selected for the Cataloging in Publication Program, one copy must be furnished
to the CIP Division. For information about Cataloging in Publication, contact the Library of Congress, Cataloging In Publication Division, COLL/CIP (4320), Washington, DC, 20540-4320.
- ISBN: An International Standard Book Number
(ISBN) is a unique number assigned to a work to identify a title or edition of a specific publisher for processing and inventory
control. To obtain a number, write to Standard Book Numbering Agency, R. R. Bowker Company, 121 Chanlon Road, New Providence, NJ, 07974. Telephone: (908) 665-6770; Fax: (908) 665-3502.
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