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Standard Reference Sources

When it comes to matters of style, there is no universal right and wrong. Within a range of rules and proper usage, there is frequently flexibility. It is up to each organization to determine which rules and style it will follow. The following three reference works have been chosen as the authoritative sources for Archivaria:

Katherine Barber, ed., Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2004).

This valuable dictionary includes not only the spelling and meaning of everyday words, but also abbreviations, acronyms, and many words unique to Canada. It includes names of significant people, places, and historical events. It will tell you that “Dollard-des-Ormeaux” (city in Quebec) is spelled differently from “Dollard des Ormeaux” (17th-century French soldier stationed at Ville-Marie). It will distinguish between the “North West Company” and the “Northwest Rebellion.” Canadian Oxford should be the first place to look on all matters of spelling, abbreviations, hyphenation, and so on.

The Chicago Manual of Style , 17th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017). Website

This is the standard style guide for scholarly work in the humanities. Many people writing for Archivaria will be familiar with it, particularly its guidelines on humanities style documentation. It will show you where to put the quotation marks in relation to punctuation, and how to cite (please follow the citation style for notes according to chapter 14). However, it does not deal with all issues relevant to Canadian usage.

Kate L. Turabian, ed., A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018)

Some other useful resources on writing and style are the following:

R.W. Burchfield, ed., The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996).

William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, 4th ed. (New York: Longman, 2000).

Editors’ Association of Canada, Editing Canadian English, 3rd ed. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2015).

Gregory Younging, Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples (Edmonton: Brush Education Inc., 2018).

Quiet Press, Conscious Style Guide, accessed June 7, 2020

For French texts, the editors recommend the following:

Larousse and Robert dictionaries

Noëlle Guilloton et Hélène Cajolet-Laganière, Le français au bureau, 7e édition (Québec: Publications Québec, Office de la langue française, 2014).

Marie-Éva de Villers, Multidictionnaire des difficultés de la langue française, édition du 30e anniversaire (Montréal: Québec/Amérique, 2018).

Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), Grand dictionnaire terminologique.

Office québécois de la langue française, Banque de dépannage linguistique.

Conseil international des archives (ICA), Terminologie archivistique multilingue.