While you are researching for your history paper, you will come across many multimedia sources. As primary sources such as photographs and recordings become fragile with age, libraries and other institutions are archiving these precious materials online. Many of these sources are available free through government repositories such as the Library of Congress. Universities, academic and public libraries devote time and money to preserving these pieces of history.
Using multimedia sources in your research paper, whether it’s history, philosophy or any other subject, adds variety to print sources and provides your readers with an interesting look at the past by hearing or seeing historical figures. This recording of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chat is accessed through a YouTube hosted video.
You will find original audio and video recordings of political and judicial proceedings through C-SPAN’s website and others. Moving Image Archive hosts an extensive collection of movies, films and videos, all of which are free to the view.
Citing Multimedia in Chicago Author-Date Style
Include the title of the work, the date of availability, name of producer and the medium in which you found your source. If you accessed it online, include the URL as the final element in the entry.
Cite the movie with the name of the director first, then the date.
Cuaron, Alsonso, director. 2013. Gravity. Warner Bros. Pictures. 2014. Blu-ray Disc 1080p HD.
Furie, Sidney J., director. 1972. Lady Sings the Blues. Paramount Pictures. 2 hr., 24 min. https://www.netflix.com/watch/60010575.
Note: If you streamed the movie through Netflix, Amazon or another service, include that information as well as the length of the movie.
Television & Radio Programs
While creating your entry to cite either a television or radio program, you need to include as much relevant information as possible. You need to have at least these elements:
First air date
So your reader can be sure they are directed to the same source you used, include identifying details such as the number of the episode. If you feel it is important to your research argument, include the names of actors (this is not required).
Note: Include the URL as the final element, if you watched this online.
Cite other videos in the same manner as movies or television programs. Cite podcasts in the same format as radio programs.
Once you get the hang of citing sources using the Chicago Author-Date style, it will become easier for you. Working through these examples, reinforces the idea that your research sources need to be found easily by your reader. Using a variety of sources such as books, journals and multimedia helps strength your research paper and makes it interesting, as well.