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Working with a text that makes extensive use of a secondary source that will be given in block quotation and, of course, cited. The secondary source, however, contained many original source citations which are to be included here as well. We'll note the secondary source, and not go straight to the original source, as this is a new edition of a previously published work for which the author was known to draw from that secondary source, and often did so verbatim.

Effectively distinguishing for the reader between these various sources within the block quotation is the issue. In the original 1950s edition, the author and editor (at OUP, no less) were a tad bit careless with their citations, and some of what the author, who was not an academic, used from the secondary source was reproduced verbatim but sometimes without quotation marks or without being set in block quotation.

This is to be corrected in the new edition where all excerpted material must be clearly presented as such. For a lengthy passage taken from a secondary source, block quotation will now be used but it is crucial to note the original source citations as well.

So the question is, how to do this exactly? Using numbered note references for a paragraph in block quotation with, for example, three internal original citations gives us the problem of the final fourth citation reference number calling out the secondary source for the whole passage, coming last and not being readily distinguishable as the secondary source encompassing all the other citations. I believe we want the reader to know this first and then having any internal original citations noted.

I've considered possible solutions such as having the end of the block quotation (a secondary source) followed by an Arabic reference number to note the secondary source, and then for all the internal original citations to use symbols as reference marks.

Historiography is important in this republished text but I'm unsatisfied with the way of presenting distinctions between sources (secondary and original) given in Chicago style, as well as between source citations and discursive/substantive notes. All footnotes are to be given as sidenotes (margin notes) in the new edition of the work.


I'll try to add an example below, which will have to be somewhat lengthy. The symbol as reference mark is just the very old convention of asterisk (*), dagger (†), double dagger (‡), and (usually) section mark (§) in that order and if more are needed on the page, they can be doubled up (**, ††, ‡‡, §§). I infrequently see Arabic numeral reference marks and symbols used together, but it does happen. An example that comes to mind is Keith Houston's Shady Characters (2014) where you can see the first instance on p. 7, visible via "Look Inside."

He has used symbols for discursive footnotes and numerals for endnotes/citations. On p. 7 he even adds an Arabic numeral reference mark at the end of his discursive footnote that began with an asterisk. He's combining the different reference marks in a way that works. However, this is not exactly my situation, where a lengthy excerpt from a secondary source contains multiple citations in the original.

So in my case, here's an example from the book I'm struggling with. Just for the forum, the Arabic reference numbers are in brackets. The first part here is body text:

When, in the Stone Age, metals were discovered and an attempt was made to introduce them into general use, quite an uproar must have arisen and divided people into those who accepted it, and the many who rejected it. Argument and hesitation have continued; almost up to the present day, and we can still perceive faint reverberations of this struggle. According to [And here begins the block quotation, whose source is the author Stern]

the Biblical story of the building of Solomon’s temple, the sound of iron tools >was not heard,* and the Mormon temple at Salt Lake City had still to be built >without iron. No bolts of iron were permitted in the repair of the Publican Bridge across the Tiber as late as the fall of the Roman Republic.† Stone knives were used by the Jews for circumcision and by Egyptians for embalming long after they had become familiar with iron. The first successful cast-iron plow, invented in the United States in 1797, was rejected by New Jersey farmers on the theory that cast iron poisoned the lands and stimulated the growth of weeds.‡ [9]

The footnote (margin notes to be precise) I currently have rendered like this:

[9]. Stern, op. cit., p. 54. [Editor's note: This excerpt from the Stern report contains the following citations, the first two of which were included by Noble:

*1 Kings 6 : 7.

† Ernest W. Burgess, The Function of Socialization in Social Evolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1916), p. 16.

‡ Holland Thompson, The Age of Invention (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921) p. 11. Citation expanded this edition.]

Similar scenarios repeat over several chapters. One issue with this approach is the Arabic reference numeral at the end of the block quotation follows the double dagger for the primary source notation. I can't say if I've ever seen this before, but it appears taboo. To find an example of how another publisher handled a similar text in an effective and elegant manner that still largely conforms to CMOS would be invaluable at this stage.

All input and clarifying questions welcome. Thank you.

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  • Mechanical style issues of this kind depend on the place you want to publish. As a magazine, handing in for credit at a school, at a book publisher, etc. The editor (prof, boss, etc.) will have rules for these things.
    – Boba Fit
    Mar 5, 2023 at 17:00
  • I am the publisher (independent press specializing in architectural history and theory) and in the process of establishing some of these very specific house rules with this rather complex text that must factor in various historiographical issues. Will add that nothing may be rewritten and all notes will be as margin notes (a style of footnoting in the margins). Thank you for responding. Mar 6, 2023 at 0:37

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