Assume that I am trying to create a BibTex citation for the notice in page 2, column 5 of the Detroit Gazette from December 11th, 1827, (available here) which starts with the phrase "The Ohio Canal Fund commissioners ...."

As is typical of 19th century newspapers, the articles have neither author nor title (inferring that the editor wrote the article or making up a title is not going to fly with my history professors). Furthermore, I am using not the Google Newspaper version, but one from microfilm in reel 212 in the collection c.123 at XYZ University Library. I have dozens of newspaper notices that I need to cite, so some principled approach would be best.

Since the notice has neither author nor title, which are key fields for the majority of the bibtex styles, I am unsure which style to use or how to slot the information into the available styles.

I think my professors expect something like the following as output in the bibliography

Detroit Gazette, 1817-1830. Microfilm edition. Detroit Gazette Collection, c.123, XYZ University Library, University Town, State.

and would be fine with something like this in the text (which ditches the reel number)

... as the Ohio Canal fund (Detroit Gazette, Dec 11 1827, p.2 c.5) ...

so that

\cite[Dec 11 1827, p.2 c.5]{dg-1817-1830-col}

seems like a nice way to refer to the entry.

  • 7
    Well, @misc is the catch-all entry type. Have you given it a try?
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 7:03
  • 1
    There is also the modern biblatex making it relatively easy to define a new entry type called microfilmarticle (or something else, you can make it up) and define fiels like reel=212 and/or collection=123.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 7:07
  • Which bibliography style do you use?
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 9:09
  • @misc still requires author and title, I believe. I am using the biblatex style authoryear with biber as the back-end. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 10:21
  • Is the proposal to use @misc, set author to The Detroit Gazette, the title to 1817-1830. Microfilm edition, and the note to the rest of the collection information, i.e. Detroit Gazette Collection, c.123, XYZ University Library, University Town, State? Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


I suggest you use the catch-all @misc entry type for this case, and use only two fields: author and note. (Most bibliography styles have no required fields for entries of type @misc; in particular, the year field isn't required for this entry type.) By placing double curly braces around "Detroit Gazette", you inform BibTeX that it's a "corporate author" rather than a person whose first and last names are "Detroit" and "Gazette", respectively. The precise content of the note field will have to conform to your institution's stylistic requirements.

If you use the natbib citation management package, you could use its \citep macro to create the citation call-out.

enter image description here


  author = {{Detroit Gazette}},
  note   = {1817--1830. Microfilm edition, Detroit Gazette Collection, 
            c.~123, XYZ University Library, University Town, State},

\bibliographystyle{plainnat} % choose a bibliography style that suits your needs

\dots{} as the Ohio Canal fund \citep[Dec~11 1827, p.~2, c.~5]{dg} \dots

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