Stella Remington Bibliography Mla

Some of us may want all the gossip we can get, but for others, like Bernard Ingham, 'the most effective Secret Service is the one which is secret. She should shut up.' She doesn't though. She talks a lot.

While we tried to find our room we chatted about Brussels; she had lived around the corner from my grandparents in the 1970s (I wondered, hopefully, whether the passing cleaner might think we were talking in code 'Wezembeek … Walloon…'). But in the library she ignored the comfy leather sofa and sat on a hard, upright chair, her hands in her lap, as if being interrogated.

She is 76 but looks extraordinarily youthful; her hair is expensively bobbed, her teeth even and her face, with its penetrating blue eyes, lightly made up. She says 'quite frankly' and 'clearly' a lot, and 'these are real issues', which gives the impression of total disclosure, and sometimes her answers are so long you forget what you asked in the first place (which I suspect is intentional).

To any question directed at MI5 she is practised in the use of abstract generalities. Describing how it has moved on since her departure, she says, 'There are huge changes in the technology, but the gathering of intelligence from technical means and human sources and then the analysis and the decision of what action to take is the progression that will still take place.'

And on a finding of the report into the 7/7 bombings that MI5 was let down by its paperwork: 'I have always said and thought' – separating speech from thought is another habit – 'that the great strength of an intelligence organisation was their record keeping and their ability to know what they know.' Maybe things have slipped since you left? She laughs. 'Any complex organisation ultimately comes down to the activities of individuals within it.'

On her life outside the service, she is altogether less guarded. 'Oh, shut up,' she tells her mobile phone when it rings for the second time, and almost makes me drop my notebook when she suddenly describes two MI6 characters in her latest novel as 'slightly s—ish'.

It is serendipity, she claims, that got her into MI5. 'Looking back, my life has been completely by chance.' Born in 1935, she was a war child, buffeted around the country, from South Norwood to Essex to Barrow-in-Furness to Nottingham. She studied English at Edinburgh university and worked as an archivist before marrying John Rimington, whom she had met while at school.

He was posted to India in 1965, to work for the British High Commission, and it was while she was spinning out her days as a diplomatic wife that her shoulder was tapped and she was employed as a clerical assistant for a security liaison officer.

She hoped to get pregnant, and if she had done so earlier (she was to go on to have two daughters), she says she would probably have called a halt to her career, 'or ended up a county archivist somewhere'. As it was, returning to England in 1969, in an 'unsettled' mood, she approached an MI5 recruiter, was interviewed for the role of junior assistant officer, and got it.

The heroine of her spy series, Liz Carlyle, 'clearly isn't me, but has elements of me when I was her age. I certainly allow her to think and say things that I said.' She corrects herself. 'Probably didn't say, but thought. I have learnt that you get on better by not being over forceful and pushy. You have to get your way by more subtle means. Quite frankly, though, in today's world women are accepted as part of the human race now in a way when I started they certainly weren't.'

When, in the 1970s, the service began running out of colonial military-types, she and other 'well-educated' female contemporaries watched the promotion of men younger and less experienced than themselves. 'It was the beginning of women's lib and sex-discrimination legislation and all that.' Was there a strong feminist movement within the service? 'Absolutely, yes, there was. We were quite a feisty bunch.'

She has no regrets about any of her activities during her service, though she was associated with some of the more controversial aspects, such as investigating the miners. 'No, people didn't like that. But what we did was entirely appropriate. I am not one for regrets, quite frankly. I think you do stuff and some of it goes right and some of it goes wrong and you move on. Life doesn't go exactly as you plan when you are young, but you go with it.'

The hardest thing, she says, was keeping quiet to friends and family about what she did. Her husband, her parents and her brother knew, but 'not in any great detail. I think it does have a huge influence on one's life. Even now, anybody in the service who isn't the director general lives as a sort of undercover [sic]. It is particularly difficult for young people because it's the thing people talk about – their job, their work.'

What did she say if people asked her? 'Various things, depending on the circumstances. You are given advice … But it is a feature of working for a secret organisation. It is never easy. You create a carapace.'

Rimington's marriage broke down under this and other strains in 1984, leaving her as a single mother (though she never actually got a divorce and she and John are still amicable).

'But you do lose friends,' she adds. 'There is no doubt about it.' In her autobiography she writes particularly fondly about a girl at school, and when I ask if she still sees her the answer is insightful. 'We did lose touch. During the middle period when I wasn't able to say what I did. And when I became … a public figure she was quite upset. She is quite Left-wing and she thought I had been intruding into everybody's private life, but we managed to get back on friendly terms again.' She brightens. 'And in fact I went to stay with her last weekend.'

Was it a relief when her name was released? She makes a 'not sure' grimace. 'It made life easier in some ways. But it was a difficulty for the children. We were exposed to a great deal of media attention; they found out very quickly where we lived and it was at a time when the IRA were very active in London.'

Her elder daughter was at university then – 'outside the zone of protection, which was worse' – but she and her younger child, and their dog, Stanley, spent time in a safe house before moving. It was the only time in her career that she felt personally in danger.

'I did for a moment think, "Hang on, should I be doing this?"' In the end she didn't retire from the service until 1996, shortly after being made a dame. She has hardly stopped since – boards of this and that (including Marks & Spencer), though she is learning, she says, to slow down a bit.

She keeps 'a sharp eye' on world events, occasionally spouting her views – anti ID cards, for example – in print. She is a director of the International Spy Museum in Washington and on the board of Refuge, the charity for victims of domestic violence. This year she is chairing the Man Booker prize. 'When I was asked, I thought, "God, this is going to be like herding cats," because I had heard stories of such huge arguments between the judges, but so far it's very jolly.' Her aim is 'to produce a book people will actually read'.

She divides her time between a cottage in north London ('I'm not telling you any more than that') and a house in Norfolk. Is she good at village life? 'Yes, I am, actually. I am patron of the friends of the church and work in a bookshop once a week to raise money for it.' She loves gardening and sitting in a deckchair, listening to the swifts. Is there a man in her life? 'None that I wish to talk about.' She would quite like another dog. 'I feel silly going for walks without one.'

Her daughters don't like her talking about them much, but she has five 'smashing' grandchildren, and clearly dotes upon them all. This summer she is taking the eldest, 12-year-old Charlotte, to New York and Washington where she is giving a lecture on the changing face of national security.

'I take my job as a granny very seriously as you can imagine.' She raises an eyebrow. 'I take everything very seriously.'

'Rip Tide' (Bloomsbury, £12.99) by Stella Rimington is available from Telegraph Books

Association of Art Editors Style Guide

Copyright ©2017, Association of Art Editors, All Rights Reserved

First edition (2006) compiled by Lory Frankel and Virginia Wageman. Edited by Lory Frankel with the assistance of Phil Freshman, Chris Keledjian, and Fronia W. Simpson

Revised edition (2013) edited by Maureen Butler with the assistance of Phil Freshman


To the Reader

The first edition of the Association of Art Editors Style Guide was produced in 2006. The present revised edition was created in 2013 with a dual aim: to bring the Style Guide into alignment with The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition; and to make it reflect changes that occurred in manuscript preparation, editing, and publishing after 2006—largely due to evolving technologies.

The Style Guide is intended for authors of texts on art—any kind of text—and for editors of these texts and their publishers. Its purpose is to provide guidelines for authors and editors in the writing and redaction of manuscripts. Uniformity of usage is not the purpose of this guide. Rather, it aims to ensure uniformity of comprehension about the issues that authors and editors deal with.

Although it would have its practical purposes, a definitive, this-way-only manual would be inadequate to the profession, since art history is an aggregate of many different methodologies and fields of specialization. Nor is it likely, or expected, that all publishers (or editors) will abandon long-cherished systems, especially when those systems adequately serve their purposes. Rather, we offer a guide to several generally accepted styles. Authors should consult with their publisher/editor before making final stylistic decisions; if the publisher is unknown at the time of writing, the author very often will be responsible for revising the manuscript later to accord with house style.

Note: “See Chicago” (appearing throughout) refers to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

The style manuals and publications of various institutions were also among the sources consulted for substance and examples. We gratefully acknowledge: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York; the College Art Association, New York; The
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

This revised edition of the Style Guide, like the original, is dedicated to Virginia Wageman (1941–2003). A co-founder and early president of the AAE, she was an untiring campaigner for high editorial standards. Virginia’s loving devotion to her craft, fund of common sense, and sunny disposition made working with her deeply rewarding.


In general, abbreviations are appropriate in notes and parenthetical or display material but should be avoided in straight (narrative) text. Some publishers prefer to keep abbreviations to a minimum in text, spelling out reigned, circa, born, and so on, even in parenthetical references. Consistency is of primary importance. If you use b. for born, for example, you must use d. for died. A list of common abbreviations appears below.

In running text, cite books of the Bible by short title, usually one word. See Chicago 10.46–50.

Do not abbreviate journal titles in running text. (Example: Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, not JWCI.) If such titles are to be abbreviated in notes, provide a key to their abbreviations.

Avoid the abbreviations etc., e.g., and i.e. in running text.

State names are spelled out in running text or when they stand alone. In references, captions, or checklists, standard state abbreviations—Mass. or Calif., for example—can be used. Avoid the two-letter postal-code form (see Chicago 10.28–30). Note, however, that some publishers prefer to spell out state names in all cases, an approach that makes the work more accessible to a global audience.

In running text, spell out: figure(s), note(s), number(s), page(s), plate(s), and catalogue number(s). These may be abbreviated in parenthetical references in text. See below for recommended abbreviations.

In running text, spell out: “about” (do not use “around,” “circa,” “c./ca.”), days of the week, months of the year, and dimensions such as “inches” and “feet.”

Centuries are usually spelled out (eighteenth century, twenty-first century), but it is also acceptable to use numerals (18th century, 21st century). Whichever approach is chosen should be used consistently.

Spell out the word Saint in names of saints, but abbreviate it in personal names where the abbreviation is preferred. (Example: Ruth St. Denis.) See below under Saint for rules on church names and other related details.

In place names, spell out: Fort, Mount, Mountain.



Active (often preferred spelled out)


(SMALL CAPS), precedes the date; A.D. 61. AD is also acceptable.


(SMALL CAPS), follows the date; 146 B.C. BC is also acceptable.


(SMALL CAPS), follows the date; 61 C.E. (or CE).


(SMALL CAPS), follows the date; 146 B.C.E. (or BCE).

A.M., P.M.;
a.m., p.m.


addendum, addenda




approximately (in dimensions)








circa, about, approximately (in text use “about”); either c. or ca. is correct; be consistent

cat. no.

catalogue number (pl.: cat. nos.)


Compare (not “see”)




centimeter; centimeters (generally used without punctuation)


compiler (pl.: comps.); compiled by


colorplate (pl.: cpls., colorpls.), an awkward abbreviation, to be avoided


died; depth











editor (pl.: eds.); edition; edited by


for example (avoid in text)




estimated (in dimensions)

et al.

et alia, and others (note: no period after et)


et cetera, and so forth (avoid in text)

ex coll./ex.-coll.

ex collection (in provenance or credit)

exh. cat.

exhibition catalogue




figure (pl.: figs.)


floruit, flourished


folio (pl.: fols.). Sometimes f. and ff., but fol(s). is clearer




microfilm frames






ibidem, in the same place (Note: this is not synonymous with “idem,” which means “the same person” and takes no period, as it is not an abbreviation.)


id est, that is (avoid in text)




illustration (spell out in text)




left, length, line (pl.: ll.); line(s) is often written out for clarity


Mlle (no period)

mm (no period)


Mme (no period)



manuscript (pl.: MSS)


note, footnote (pl.: nn.)


no date


number (pl.: nos.)


no place; no publisher; no page


new series


old series


page (pl.: pp.)





plate (pl.: pls.)




right; reigned


recto (Note: these abbreviations are used mainly in notes and in works specializing in manuscripts; in other contexts, recto is spelled out.)



rev. ed.

revised edition






Saint (see Saint)




television (in many contexts, may be used in text)


Translated or translated by; translator


verso (Note: these abbreviations are used mainly in notes and in works specializing in manuscripts; in other contexts, verso is spelled out.)





See also Chicago 10.43 for a list of scholarly abbreviations.


Unusual diacritical marks should be marked on the manuscript by hand for the designer/typesetter/printer, either called out in the margin or marked with yellow or other highlighter.

The most common accents (acute é, grave è, umlaut ü, circumflex î, and cedilla ç) are supported by most fonts and need not be marked.

In a program or font that does not have the macron (long mark), the circumflex or tilde may be employed to indicate it if there are no words using the circumflex or tilde in the manuscript. If macrons are thus indicated by a different accent, a note to that effect should be given at the beginning of the manuscript so that the designer/typesetter and printer will know to change these to macrons.

Insert all accents given in the foreign language, including accents on capital letters. (Note that diacritical marks are not always used on the first letter of capitalized words in French: Etude, instead of Étude, or Edouard instead of Édouard.)

In general, do not use vowel ligatures (œ or œ).

The five most commonly occurring accents can be created on Macintosh computers by pressing the Option key along with the following keys (after pressing these two keys together, press the letter that takes the accent):

+ e = ´ (acute) é

+ ` = ` (grave) è

+ i = ˆ (circumflex) î

+ u = ¨ (umlaut) ü

+ n = ~ (tilde) ñ

+ c = ç (cedilla)

Article (the)

In running text, lowercase the preceding a museum name. This is to be done even for museums that have the article as part of the official name and capitalize The in their own documents and publications. Example:

A similar print is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

In running text, also lowercase the preceding the name of a building, residence, business, and the like. Examples:

the Breakers
the Red Rooster restaurant
the Empire State Building
the University of Chicago
the College Art Association Conference

In illustration captions and exhibition checklists, initial articles that are part of the museum’s official name are often capitalized. (See The Official Museum Directory, or locate the given museum’s Website on the Internet.)

In titles of books, an initial The is always italic. Example:

The Chicago Manual of Style.

In titles of journals, newspapers, or magazines, the preceding the name is lowercase and roman, even if it appears in the masthead for the publication. Examples:

The article is in the Village Voice.
He reads the New York Times every day.
The Art Bulletin is published by the College Art Association.

However, the article is retained in foreign-language titles. Example:

She reads Le Monde every day.

In footnote and bibliographical references, an initial article The is omitted in titles of journals, newspapers, and magazines. Examples:

Art Bulletin 52, no. 3
New Yorker, Feb. 14, 1998.

Art movements, periods, and styles

The question of whether to capitalize or lowercase is one of the most common in the field of art history and one of the most difficult in which to attain any agreement. Chicago would lowercase all art movements, periods, and styles except those derived from proper nouns. However, many art historians and art institutions traditionally capitalize them. For this reason, we offer an alternative to the Chicago method.

The names of art movements or periods of art can be capitalized to distinguish them as references to a particular body of work whose visual and/or chronological definitions are generally accepted. The art so designated may be of relatively short duration (Post-Impressionism), or extend over a longer period characterized by a broader range of styles (Renaissance, Baroque), or stem from self-styled movements (Cubism, Futurism).

For names of art movements that have entered the English language as an autonomous word (for example, baroque, meaning “stylistically overwrought”), capitalization of the movement helps to keep the distinction between word and movement clear.

Some exceptions are made in the general system of capitalization. The word medieval is never capitalized in designating medieval art (though the period known as the Middle Ages is always capitalized).

Words such as modernism or postmodernism are often left uncapitalized by those who hold that the cap should be used only when the works designated fall into a coherent visual and/or chronological category. Since the question, “What does a modernist work look like?” cannot be answered clearly, modernism remains in lowercase.

For those who prefer to capitalize art movements, remember that it takes time for a body of works to achieve capital-letter status—to undergo the kind of critical ordering and analysis that ultimately yield a definition. What we now call Conceptual art, for example, generally remained lowercase until the concepts and the works that exemplified it had been articulated over time.

Adjectival forms: Impressionism/Impressionistic or impressionistic; Cubism/Cubist or cubist? Some prefer to lowercase adjectival forms since adjectival forms of proper nouns generally take the lowercase (Pope John Paul’s visit to New York; the papal visit). Others prefer to retain the initial cap to refer unambiguously to the movement, avoiding confusion with another meaning or referent of the word. We lean toward capitalizing any adjectival form that would be capitalized as a noun as the simpler method (thus avoiding such ambiguities as “German expressionist painter”: expressionist of German nationality or of the German Expressionist movement?).

Equally legitimate is the lowercasing of art movements. For some, it merely reflects a tendency to avoid capitalization whenever possible. For others, however, a lowercase baroque or cubism represents an ideological stance, in which the history of art is not a history of great “movements” progressing in linear fashion. But those who use a lowercase style should avoid ambiguities such as “German expressionist painter” (alternative: a painter of the German expressionist movement).

Names of artistic styles are capitalized unless they are used in a context that does not refer to their specific art-historical meaning (example: His dream was surreal). Some common names:

Abstract Expressionism
Conceptualism, Conceptual Art, Conceptual art
Minimalism, Minimalist, Minimal Art, Minimal art
Pop Art, Pop art

In general, sharply delimited period titles are capitalized, whereas broad periods and terms applicable to several periods are not:

Archaic period
Early Renaissance
High Renaissance
Early Christian
Greek Classicism of the fifth century (otherwise, classicism)
Middle Ages
Neoclassicism (for the late-18th-century movement; otherwise, neoclassicism)
Pre-Columbian, Precolumbian
Romantic period

antique, antiquity
classicism (see above)
modern, modernism
neoclassicism (see above)

See also Words and terms.

Bias-free language

Bias-free language does not discriminate on the basis of age, physical condition, economic status, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Where possible without sacrificing meaning or euphony, use language that is not gender specific.

Avoid words and turns of phrase that exclude or are insensitive to readers of a certain gender, race, or religion. Equally, avoid any extremes of political correctness, unless required by the text; for example, the neologism “s/he” is to be avoided.

When appropriate, gender-neutral language can be achieved by making the subject plural. Example: Students may register in advance if they . . .

When necessary, he or she may be used.

Commonly used words and phrases:

handmade (for man-made)
assistive-listening headset
people with disabilities
hearing impaired
humankind, humanity (for mankind)
individual (for man)
motor-impaired visitors
solo exhibition (for one-person show)
visually impaired
wheelchair accessible
wheelchair user

Biblical references

References to biblical passages (for example, Matt. 4:14) should be made in either the text or notes rather than in the bibliography. The first citation, however, should have an endnote or footnote that provides a full reference and the version of the Bible used (for example, 1 Kings 2:10–12 [New International Version]).

Books and sections of the Bible are usually capitalized (for example, Acts of the Apostles). For abbreviations of books of the Bible, see Chicago 10.45–50.


Two common styles for bibliographies are the “notes and bibliography” system and the “author-date” system. Both are described here, accompanied by sample bibliographies of likely entries for both systems.

In this context, references to “author” mean the name under which the work is alphabetized in the bibliography or list of references; it may be an organization or, as in some exhibition catalogues, the venue (such as New York for the Museum of Modern Art) or venues (New York and Philadelphia).

If the work is accessed online, include its DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or a URL. The latter is less reliable, as a Website may move or disappear. Printed-book publishers may require an electronic-resource identifier in citations for which a source is hard to find.

See chapters 14 and 15 of Chicago for a detailed examination of bibliographic styles.


There are numerous ways to organize a bibliography under the notes and bibliography system. It may be presented as a single list in alphabetical order, or it may be divided into categories, separating sources of a general and a specific nature; books, exhibition catalogues, and articles; in a monograph, works by the artist, works about the artist, and exhibition history. If there is a suggested-reading list, sources for further reading—some of which may have been cited in the text—are given. A bibliography may include all the works cited in the text, or it may be a selected bibliography, which will not necessarily include all the works cited.

Using a selected bibliography has the advantage of retaining the bibliography’s traditional aspect as a list of sources on the subject; tangential or unrelated citations would not need to appear in it. Any references not given in the selected bibliography would be cited in full (in the first instance) as a footnote or endnote in the book. Subsequent references to the work may be shortened to the last name of the author, a short title, and page number(s). Example, 2. Smith, Bronzino, 23.

When the source is given in full in the bibliography, shortened references in footnotes or endnotes may be used throughout the book; make sure they are given identically throughout. This system also requires the single alphabetical bibliographic list.

Every note needs to have a reference number linking it to the relevant text.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (sample entries)

Archives, Abstract Art Controversy Correspondence, box H4, file 82. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Audsley, George Ashdown. The Art of Organ Building. 2 vols. 1905. Reprint, 2 vols. in 1, New York: Dover Publications, 1964.

Barron, Stephanie, et al. German Expressionist Sculpture. Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1983.

Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981.

Bibliothèque Municipale, Rouen. MS fr. 938.

Binney, Ed. “Later Mughal Painting.” In Aspects of Indian Art, ed. P. Pal. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972.

Blume, Dieter. Anthony Caro: Catalogue Raisonné. 13 vols. Cologne: Verlag Galerie Wentzel, 1981–2006.

Burke, Edmund. The Correspondence of Edmund Burke. Ed. Thomas W. Copeland. Vol. 3, July 1774–July 1778, edited by George H. Guttridge. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.

Conze, Edward. Buddhist Thought in India. 1962. Reprint, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1967. [When an earlier edition is used.]

Dean, Bashford. Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991, Microfiche.

Gairola, Krishna C. “Manifestations of Shiva.” Oriental Art, 27, no. 3 (Autumn 1981). [When page numbers cannot be specified.]

Genesis of a Novel. Tucson, Ariz.: Motivational Programming Corporation, 1969. Audiocassette.

Goldwater, Robert. Primitivism in Modern Art. 1938. Rev. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1966.

Goodrich, Lloyd. “Essay on Abstraction.” 1930. Typescript. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Gruen, John. “Michael Heizer: ‘You Might Say I’m in the Construction Business.’” Art News 76, December 1977, 96–99.

Hockney, David. David Hockney: Photographs. Exh. cat. London and New York: Petersburg Press; Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1982.

Jerome. Commentaria in Esaiam. Ed. Marcus Adriaen. In Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, vol. 78. Turnhout: Brepols, 1958.

Larsen, Susan C. “Los Angeles Painting in the Sixties: A Tradition in Transition.” In Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties. Exh. cat. Edited by Maurice Tuchman. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1981.

Locke, Nancy Elizabeth. “Manet and the Family Romance.” PhD diss., Harvard University, 1993.

Milder, Patricia. “Teaching as Art: The Contemporary Lecture-Performance.” A Journal of Performance and Art 33, PAJ 97, no. 1 (2010): 13–27. doi:10.1162/PAJJ_a_00019.

Mizuno, Kogen. The Beginnings of Buddhism. Translated by Richard L. Gage. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company, 1982.

Schubring, Walther. The Religion of the Jainas. Calcutta Sanskrit College Research Series, no. 52. Calcutta: Sanskrit College, 1966.

Shah, V. P. Jaina-Pupa-Mandana. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1987.

Smith, Vincent A. The Oxford History of India. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958.

Solomon,Alan R. Jasper Johns. Exh. cat. New York: Jewish Museum, 1964.

Stella, Frank. “On Caravaggio.” New York Times Magazine, February 3, 1985, 39–60, 71.

Sun Shaoyuan. Shenghua ji (Record of paintings). Preface 1107; Shanghai: Yiwen, 1996.

Talwar, K, and Kalyan Krishna. Indian Pigment Paintings on Cloth. Vol. 3 of Historic Textiles of India at the Calico Museum. Ahmedabad: Calico Museum of Textiles, 1979.


In long books with many works cited, especially big exhibition catalogues that include references for the objects exhibited, shortened references (the author’s last name and the publication date) are often used in the text. When authors have the same last name, initials are generally added to distinguish them. When there is more than one identical short form (for example, two for Smith, 1957) letters are added after the dates (for example, 1957a and 1957b.)

The author-date system requires a reference list of every work cited in single, alphabetical-list form, giving the author’s full name and publication date as the first items. Footnotes or endnotes can be used to supplement the author-date system.

REFERENCE LIST (sample entries)

Alberti, Leon Battista. 2011. On Painting. Edited and translated by Rocco Sinisgalli. U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Arcangeli, F. 1956. “Sugli inizi dei Carracci.” Paragone 7 (79): 137–43.

Bohlin, Diane DeGrazia. 1979. Prints and Related Drawings by the Carracci Family. Exh. cat. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art.

Bonehill, John, and Stephen Daniels. 2012. “Projecting London: Turner and Greenwich.” Oxford Art Journal 35 (2): 171–94. doi:10.1093/oxartj/kcs021.

Germanisches Nationalmuseum. 1928. Albrecht Dürer Ausstellung Germanischen Museum. Exh. cat. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum.

Ng, David. 2012. “Will Christo’s Oil-Barrel Pyramid ‘Mastaba’ Finally Rise?” Culture Monster, Los Angeles Times, November 26.

Petzet, Michael, ed. 1973. Bayern Kunst und Kultur. Exh. cat. Munich: Stadtmuseum.

Siple, Ella S. 1942. “Art in America.” Burlington Magazine 80: 74–81.

Sotheby Parke Bernet and Company. 1983. The Thomas F. Flannery, Jr., Collection: Medieval and Later Works of Art. Sale cat.

See also Exhibition history, Notes.



Capitalize the full name but not the generic term. Example:

Holy Roman Empire, the empire


Capitalize the full or shortened version of a proper name but not generic categories. Example:

Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Académie Royale, but not the Academy.


When particles are used with the full name, they are often left lowercased when only the last name is given. Example:

The late works of Vincent van Gogh
The late works of van Gogh

However, it is also accepted practice to capitalize the particle when the first name is dropped—Van Gogh—so long as this is done consistently. When particles are capitalized with the full name, they should always be capitalized when the first name is dropped. Example:

Anthony Van Dyck
Van Dyck

For capitalization of particles, follow the usage of the named individual or tradition. (In general, lowercase the particle in European names.) Examples:

de La Tour
d’ Hulst
de Staël
von Blanckenhagen
Der Nersessian
Van Buren
van Gogh
van der Weyden

Titles, whether of nobility, offices, or religious, are capitalized only when they directly precede the name: King Edward II, President Clinton, Pope John Paul II. Otherwise, lowercase them: the duchess of Kent, the senator from Ohio, the pope’s entourage.

Identify people mentioned with a brief phrase (the noted collector, the critic, etc.), using full name at first mention. Example:

The nineteenth-century writer and art critic Octave Mirbeau

Asian names: The traditional format for Chinese and Japanese names places the family name first, followed by the given name. Unless the name is Westernized, as it often is by authors writing in English, it should be kept in the traditional order.

Traditional order: Tsou Tang; Tajima Yumiko
Westernized: Tang Tsou; Yumiko Tajima


Capitalize place names with distinct and titled identities—the Middle East, the West (referring to the cultural-geopolitical entity), the Continent, the East Coast—otherwise, lowercase: northern Italy, southern France.

In general, capitalize a political entity when it follows the name and lowercase it when it precedes—New York State, the state of New York—unless the official name happens to take that form: the District of Columbia, the Dominion of Canada.

For place-name spellings, use the first choice given in Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary.


Caption style varies according to field, period, institution, and so on, and caption forms will of necessity vary from publication to publication, subject to subject. What follows is a sampling of formats; for specific instructions on individual elements of captions, see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Dates,Dimensions, Inscriptions, Media of artworks, Titles of artworks.

The caption normally begins with information identifying and describing the work of art. It usually ends with collections data, often including fund or donor credit and, sometimes, accession number.

Line-for-line style places elements of the caption on separate lines with no punctuation at the end of each line; run-in style gives all the information sentence-style, separated by punctuation. Checklists and catalogue entries often employ the line-for-line style. This style is seldom used in most books that are not also exhibition catalogues and periodicals, where the elements are placed in sequential order separated by punctuation. (This style is often used in exhibition catalogues for captions to figure references.) The particular style that the publisher requires should be ascertained ahead of time by the author or editor if possible.

All or some of the following information may be included in an illustration caption, in the order given or in a slightly different order. (For more information about each of these categories, see under each item.)

For a work by a known artist:

figure or plate number
name of artist, artist’s nationality or country of origin (Germany, active United States), artist’s dates
title of work, subtitle(s) or alternative title(s), translation of title
date of execution
medium, including support
dimensions, usually in inches (height precedes width precedes depth), dimensions in centimeters (usually in parentheses following inch measurement)
signature/inscription information (rarely given in figure captions)
credit line/collection, followed by city of collection (includes, as applicable, collection to which work belongs, donor of the work, and a museum accession number or the year in which the work was acquired)
photograph credit, if not given in a separate section (see Photograph and illustration credits).

Other cases:

figure or plate number
description of the work
country and/or region, dates
credit line/collection

An abbreviated caption may include:

figure or plate number
name of artist (including first name)
title of work
date of execution
credit line/collection

In general, the artist’s name should be given in full even in multiple captions for the same artist’s work, unless the article or book is about a single artist, in which case the artist’s last name is sometimes used after the first mention or the artist’s name is omitted altogether.

For anonymous works, if the category is not omitted altogether, “artist unknown” is generally used.

Be sure that the titles of works as given in the text and captions match.

If the full image is not used, the caption must specify that it is a detail: Michelangelo, David, detail; Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, Rome, Vatican, detail of ceiling: ignudo;Detail of Fig. 3: Left wing; Detail of Fig. 8 with the Flight into Egypt.

Include verified credit lines and, where appropriate, photograph credits (see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Permissions, Photograph and illustration credits). If the location of the work is not known, use “location unknown” or “whereabouts unknown.” If the owner wishes to remain anonymous, use “private collection,” or “private collection, name of city.” If the artist owns the work, use “collection of the artist” or “collection the artist.”

The following examples, from a variety of sources (some noted), offer a range of punctuation and ordering of the elements:

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1509). Mona Lisa, ca. 1503–5. Oil on panel, 30 1/4 x 21 in. (76.8 x 53.3 cm). Paris, Musée du Louvre [source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Clay figurine. Japanese, latest Jomon period (ca. 1000–250 b.c.). H. 2 1/4 in. (6.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Koizim, 1978 (1978.346) [source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Louis Lozowick (1892–1973), Allen Street (Under the El), 1929. Lithograph: sheet, 11 5/16 x 15 13/16 (28.7 x 40.2); image, 7 9/16 x 11 3/16 (19.2 x 28.4). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Print Committee 86.28 [source: Whitney Museum]

William Wegman (b. 1943), Ray and Mrs. Lubner in Bed Watching T.V., 1981. Polacolor ER, 24 x 20 (61 x 50.8). University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography, Tucson [source: Whitney Museum of American Art]

Peggy Ahwesh, The Scary Movie, 1993. Super-8 film, black-and-white, sound; 9 minutes. Distributed by Drift Distribution, New York [source: Whitney Museum of American Art]

Cheryl Donegan, Craft, 1994. Videotape, color, sound; 12 minutes. Distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York [source: Whitney Museum of American Art]

Susan Rothenberg (American, b. 1945), Blue Head, 1980–81, acrylic and Flashe on canvas, H. 114 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Gift of The Sydney and Frances Lewis Foundation.

Plate 1. Egyptian, Vessel in the Form of the God Bes, Late Period, ca. 600 B.C., faience. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Purchase in memory of Bernard V. Bothmer, The Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, 94.110.

Colorplate 22. Henri Matisse. Le Luxe, 1907–8. Casein on canvas, 6’ 10 1/8” x 4’ 6 3/4” (205.3 x 139 cm). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Rump Collection.

Figure 1. Nancy Graves, Dingbat, 1988. Cast, patinated bronze with painted elements, 8’ 5” x 34” x 6’ 2” (243.8 x 86.3 x 188 cm). Private collection.

Fig. 2. Commode, c. 1755–60, attributed to Thomas Chippendale (English, 1718–1779). Mahogany, oak, pine, and ormolu, 33 x 55 x 25 1/2 in. (83.8 x 139.7 x 64.8 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purchased with the John D. McIlhenny Fund (photo: courtesy of the museum) [source: Princeton University Press]

Fig. 3. Seated Bodhisattva, early 8th century. Made in China (T’ang dynasty, 618–907). Gilded bronze with traces of color, H. 9 in. (22.9 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purchased with Museum and subscription funds (photo: courtesy of the museum) [source: Princeton University Press]

7 Little Canterbury Psalter, Nativity. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale ms lat. 770, fol. 20r [source: Art Bulletin]

6 Rogier van der Weyden, Nativity, center panel of the Bladelin Altarpiece. Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin–Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie (photo: Jörg Anders) [source: Art Bulletin]

Catalogue entries and checklists

Catalogue entries and checklists include caption information, as above, usually on separate lines, often followed by provenance, exhibition history, and publication history. The format, like that for captions, will of necessity vary, and there is no one set way for all publications. Here, as in Captions, a sampling of formats is offered; for specific instructions on individual elements, see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Dates, Dimensions, Exhibition history, Inscriptions, Media of artworks, Titles of artworks.

137. The Painter’s Family
La famille du peintre [Portrait defamille]
Issy-les-Moulineaux, spring 1911
Oil on canvas, 56 1/4 x 6’ 4 3/8” (143 x 194 cm)
Signed and dated on back of subframe: “Henri Matisse 1911”
The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Formerly collection Sergei Shchukin
[source: Museum of Modern Art]

14. Blindekuh (Blind Man’s Buff), 1944–45. Oil on canvas; triptych, left and right panels: 191 x 110 cm (75 3/16 x 43 5/16 inches), central panel: 205 x 230 cm (80 11/16 x 90 9/16 inches). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
[source: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibition catalogue Max Beckmann in Exile]

Isabel Bishop (1902–1988)
Subway Scene, 1957–58
Egg tempera and oil on composition board, 40 x 28 (101.6 x 71.1)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase 58.55
[source: Whitney Museum]

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 1972
Wood and bronze
Bridge, 3 x 20 1/4 x 3 inches
Boat, 1 5/8 x 11 5/8 x 2 5/8 inches
Coffin, 1 3/4 x 7 1/16 x 2 3/4 inches
Bird, 1 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches
Private collection
[source: Whitney Museum of American Art]

10. Pair of Short Boots
Outer fabric: Weft-faced compound twill; silk tapestry (kesi)
1992.350: Top of boot to bottom of heel 32.8 cm (12 7/8 in.); toe to heel, ca. 25 cm (9 3/4 in.)
1992.349: Top of boot to bottom of heel 34.9 cm (13 3/4 in.); toe to heel, ca. 25 cm (9 3/4 in.)
Liao dynasty (907–1125)
The Cleveland Museum of Art. John L. Severance Fund (1992.349; 1992. 350)
[source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

234. Medallions from an Icon Frame
Byzantine (Constantinople?), late 11th–early 12th century
Gold, silver, and cloisonné enamel
Diam. 8.3 cm (3 1/4 in.)
Inscribed: In Greek, on each medallion, an identification of the figure represented: Jesus Christ, Mother of God, John the Precursor, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Matthew, Saint Luke, Saint John the Theologian, and Saint George.
Provenance: [omitted here]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan (17.190.670–78)
Literature: [omitted here]
Exhibitions: [omitted here]
[source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Head of a Jina
Uttar Pradesh, late 2nd–early 3rd century
10 x 6 1/2 x 6 3/4 in. (25.4 x 16.5 x 17.2 cm)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon, 68.8.3
[source: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts]

Alexander Kelety, Hungarian, dates unknown
Affection, ca. 1925–30
Silvered and cold-painted bronze, ivory, marble
13 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 5 in. (34.9 x 18.4 x 12.7 cm)
Signed on top of base: Kelety
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis, 85.328
[source: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts]

7. Bronco Buster
1895, this version cast July 30, 1906
Bronze, green over brown patina, lost-wax cast
22 5/8 x 22 3/4 x 15 1/4 in. (57.5 x 57.8 x 38.7 cm)
Signed at front, top of base at right: Copyright by / Frederic Remington
Inscribed at rear, top of base along right curve: roman bronze works n.y.
Inscribed on underside of base: 49
The Hogg Brothers Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg
Acc. no. 43.73
[source: Princeton University Press/Museum of Fine Arts, Houston exhibition catalogue Frederic Remington]

Catalogues raisonnés

The format of entries for catalogues raisonnés closely follows that of the exhibition entry or checklist, with a number assigned to the work; title and variations of the title; date; medium (usually omitted if works of a single category are listed, such as all paintings, in which, for example, all works are oil on canvas unless noted otherwise); dimensions; inscriptions; collection; provenance; exhibition history; publication history; and a category, usually called “Remarks,” for other pertinent information. In a book with hundreds of such entries, it is important to verify consistency among entries. To this end, it is helpful to check each of the elements noted above one at a time from beginning to end. For specific instructions on individual elements, see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Dates, Dimensions, Exhibition history, Inscriptions, Media of artworks, Titles of artworks.


Also called a biographical outline, a chronology is often included in artist monographs, solo exhibition catalogues, and catalogues raisonnés. Many formats are possible. In writing a chronology, it is important to decide on a particular approach and then use it consistently. It is also helpful to decide what kinds of information to include and exclude. If there is limited space, information readily at hand elsewhere in the volume (for example, in an exhibition history) as well as material of secondary importance may easily be omitted. The intention of a chronology is primarily to trace the artist’s development, not necessarily to list all of the artist’s accomplishments and activities.

Most chronologies are written in either narrative style, with full sentences (usually using the artist’s last name), or in telegraphic style, omitting the subject, understood to be the artist. As in any text, where individuals are introduced, their full names should be given and a brief identification added.

It is important to verify that information in the chronology agrees with that given elsewhere in the publication.

Example from Diane Upright, Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985):

Louis and his wife moved into Washington, where they purchased a house at 3833 Legation Street, N.W. Louis converted the 12-by-14-foot dining room into the studio he was to use for the rest of his life.

Jacob Kainen, a Washington artist, helped Louis to obtain a teaching position at the Washington Workshop Center of the Arts, which was founded in 1945 by Leon and Ida Berkowitz. Louis taught two adult painting classes each week. He became friendly with Kenneth Noland, also an instructor at the workshop.

Example from John Elderfield, Henri Matisse: A Retrospective (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1992):

JANUARY 27: With Mme Matisse, departs for the first of two trips to Morocco. Mme Matisse will stay in Tangier until the end of March, Matisse until mid-April. Paints landscapes, including Periwinkles (pl. 147), having received a landscape commission from Ivan Morosov; still lifes, including Basket of Oranges (pl. 148); and figure paintings.

MARCH 14–APRIL 6: First exhibition of his sculptures in America is held at the “291” gallery in New York, organized by Steichen and selected by the artist with Steichen. Includes six bronzes, five plasters (probably including those of the first four Jeannette sculptures; pls. 127, 128, 138, 139), one terra-cotta, and twelve drawings. The show is attacked by the critics; none of the works is sold.

APRIL 14: Leaves Tangier for Marseille, en route to Paris.

Classical references

References to classical works should be cited within parentheses in the text. Examples: (Odyssey 9.266), (Timaeus 484b). The use of Arabic rather than Roman numerals is preferred. But as with biblical references, a footnote or endnote should be given at the first reference, citing which translation or critical edition was used.

For classical works that exist in numerous editions, write out the names of the sections of the work in the note, as readers might use an edition different from yours. Example: (bk. 1, sec. 3). The elements in the text can subsequently be given in Arabic numerals separated by periods without writing out the names of the sections. Example: (1.5).

See also Chicago 14.256–65. Note, however, that the rules Chicago gives apply primarily to specialized writings; a nonspecialist audience would not know what to make of IG2.3274 or POxy. 1485, which are better written out: Inscriptiones Graecae, vol. 2, 2nd ed., inscription no. 3274, and Oxyrhynchus Papyri, document no. 1485.

Collections and collectors/Credit lines

For museums, all information required by the institution should be cited. This may include accession number and date and such information as “the Jones fund,” “Gift of,” and “purchased with funds from.” Credit-line information, not to be confused with copyright information, identifies the donor or fund(s) through which the object was acquired. Some publishers change punctuation and capitalization for consistency in style, while others (especially museums) insist on using the form given by the museum, including punctuation and capitalization. Examples:

The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Lillie P. Bliss Bequest
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Gift of Mrs. J. H. Jones, 1929
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Frick Collection, New York
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Although it is important that the wording given by museums and institutions be carefully followed in the credit line, some standardization can be obtained by using the same order of elements and the same punctuation throughout. Examples:

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase 58.55
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Fletcher Fund, 1987 (1987.275)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon, 68.8.3
British Museum, London [E 289]

To help achieve consistency, it is permissible to omit the wording “courtesy” or “courtesy of” in the collection line. For example, if Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts specifies its credit line as “Courtesy, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,” it could be given as simply “Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.” The use of “courtesy” should be reserved for signaling the role of an intermediary in obtaining a photograph or permission, as in “Collection of the artist; courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York.”

Some museums require a copyright credit for having given permission to reproduce a photograph. This should appear in the photograph credit, not the credit line. Example:

Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet (photo: J. Lathion, ©Nasjonalgalleriet)

Give the full name and location of museums, unless the location is part of the name. Example: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (not National Gallery). If an institution’s title includes the name of the city, do not repeat the city, although the state or country may have to be included. Examples:

The Springfield Museum of Art, Illinois
Dallas Museum of Fine Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Kunsthalle Bremen
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

States and countries should be given only for cities judged to be obscure or where there are two cities with the same name, for example, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Cambridge, England. By tradition, “Cambridge” is given for the city in England, whereas the state name is added for the city in Massachusetts. Names of states may be spelled out. If they are abbreviated, the standard Webster’s abbreviations should be used rather than postal abbreviations. Chicago 10.28 also lists the older abbreviations.

For private collections, only the information the collector provides should be given. Do not add a city to private collection unless the owner approves. Examples:

Private collection
Private collection, Boston
Collection John Jones, New York
Collection of Mary Black, Somerville, New Jersey
Collection of Mary Black and John Jones, Ventura, California
Collection of the artist
Collection the author (or, perhaps better, private collection)

Some collections are treated as entities. Examples:

Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection
The Abrams Family Collection
Lehman Collection

Note that in the text, while formal collections should be capitalized (Lehman Collection), generic terms associated with collections should be lowercased (the collection of Robert Lehman).

The words and abbreviations “Inc.,” “Company,” “Co.,” “Ltd.,” and the like are usually omitted when giving names of commercial galleries. Such elements should be retained, however, when the collection refers to a business or corporation. Example:

The IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York

In general, names of foreign museums are given in the original language for scholarly publications. However, for books with a wide general audience, names of foreign museums may be anglicized. Examples:

Palazzo Pitti, Florence = Pitti Palace
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome = National Gallery of Modern Art
Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan, Tokyo = National Museum of Modern Art

In cases where the owner cannot be ascertained, use “Location unknown” or “Whereabouts unknown.” If it is known that a work has been destroyed or lost, that information should be provided. Examples:

Formerly Berlin, Gemäldegalerie; destroyed in World War II
Destroyed by the artist, 1954
Destroyed in a fire, 1963

In most books, photographers’ and photo agencies’ credits are removed from captions and placed in a section, called “Photo credits” or “Photograph Credits,” at the back of the book. See Photograph and illustration credits.

Credits (image and lender)

Credits usually appear at the end of a book, after the index, if there is one, though if they are short they may be on the copyright page. Pictures, extensively quoted passages of text (short quoted passages—properly attributed in the text or endnotes—and extensive quotations in scholarly publications are still covered by fair use), photographers, and owners of rights (organizations such as SPADEM that own rights to an artist’s work but do not own the actual work of art) must all be credited scrupulously. Many owners of artworks now request that a credit line appear in the caption to an image. However, wherever permitted, information beyond the location and owner of an artwork should be removed from the caption and inserted into the credits page. Picture agencies and photographers often request that a credit line appear with a photograph. Many publishers do not generally consent to that style and instead place all such credits at the end of the book. Note that the credits typically are not listed in the table of contents. For specific instructions, see Photograph and illustration credits.


There should be no extra space on either side of dashes. Em (long) dashes may be typed as two hyphens--or as an em dash—.

En dashes are used between inclusive numbers and between compound adjectives. These should be either marked by the editor or inserted by the editor. Examples:

pp. 38–45
New York–London flight
post–Civil War period
quasi-public–quasi-judicial bodies


Month-day-year or day-month-year: June 6, 1988, or 6 June 1988; either is acceptable so long as one style is consistently used in both text and notes, including in references to journals. Note that a comma follows the year in the month-day-year style.

Month-day: January 30 (not 30th)
Month-year: January 1992 (no comma)
The name of the month should be spelled out in text; it may be abbreviated in notes, especially for bibliographic uses.

Seasons: The fall 1992 season (lowercase, no comma)

Decades: 1950s; 1840s and 1850s (in full, no punctuation); or, when the century referred to is unambiguous, “the thirties.” Do not vary formats within one sentence or paragraph. Use “in the 1950s and 1960s” or “in the fifties and sixties,” not “in the 1950s and sixties,” “in the 1950s and 60s,” or “in the 1950s and ’60s.”

Mid: mid-1990; mid-nineteenth century; mid-nineteenth-century (adj. form)

Centuries: Spell out and lowercase in text. Examples:

twentieth-century art
a phenomenon of the nineteenth century
He is a scholar of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century art.
art of the late eighteenth century (noun form: no hyphen)
late-eighteenth-century art (adj. form: many style guides and institutions hyphenate early- and late- in the adjective form, but several do not)

In notes and captions, figures are often used. Example:

late 2nd–early 3rd century

Century or centuries? Some institutions offer the following guide:

The style was revived during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The movement lasted from the fifth through the eleventh century.
The movement lasted from the fifth to the tenth century.

Eras or systems of chronology: These abbreviations are conventionally set in small capitals, separated by periods but no space. (Some publishers omit the periods.) The most commonly used system remains B.C./A.D. The latter always precedes the year. Examples: 55 B.C., A.D. 110.

Alternative systems that use the same time frame:

B.C.E./C.E. (before the common era and the common era)
B.P. (before the present)

Other systems:

A.H. (in the year of the Hegira, beginning A.D. 622)
A.M. (in the year of the world), precedes the year
A.S. (in the year of salvation), precedes the year
A.U.C. (from the founding of [Rome, 753 B.C.]), follows year

Use of the solidus (slash /) in dates: In birth or death date, 1878/81 means born or died in either 1878 or 1881. In the date of a work of art or event, it also indicates either/or.

Life dates: Give in full. Examples:

Arminius (c. 17 B.C.–A.D. 21)
385–331 B.C. (All digits are given for all B.C. dates.)

Abbreviations may be used in text for life dates given in parentheses. Examples:

born = b. (b. 1930) Note: this is preferable to the form (1930–)
died = d. (d. 1538)
about = c. or ca. (ca. 1489–d. 1538)
flourished = fl. (fl. 1503–30) (fl. 1530s) (fl. 16th century)
date known but unverified = ? (1489?–d. 1538)
active = act. (or spell out) (act. 16th century or active 1711–16)

Other forms:

(1683–before 1737)
(after 1750–1799)

Other dates: 385–331 B.C. (all digits are given for all-B.C. dates), 1864–1916, 1900–1902 (all digits are given with dates ending in 00), 1962–65.

Reign dates: 1902–39; the abbreviation r. may be used for dates given in parentheses (r. 1902–39).

Dates of artworks: Do not use circa, c., or ca. in text, except when the date is given in parentheses; “about” should be used instead. Dates separated by a solidus (1878/81) indicate either/or (either 1878 or 1881). An en dash, not a solidus, should be used to indicate a range of time: 1878–81 means the work was begun in 1878 and completed in 1881; ca. 1878–81 means the work was executed sometime between 1878 and 1881. An undated work may be designated n.d. (no date) if the intention is not to give an approximate date. A work in progress may be designated by the date begun followed by an en dash and a space (1994– ). These and other possibilities are offered here:

1878/81 = work executed either in 1878 or in 1881

1878–81 = work begun in 1878 and completed in 1881. If it is known that no work was done in 1879 and 1880, it could be given as “1878 and 1881” or as “begun 1878 and completed 1881”

ca. 1878–81 = work executed sometime between 1878 and 1881

exh. or exhib. or exhibited 1881 = earliest record of the work is date of exhibition, 1881

n.d. = undated

1994– = work in progress, begun 1994

1924, reconstructed 1989 = originally executed in 1924 and remade, refabricated, or reconstructed in 1989. Alternative: 1924 (1989 reconstruction)

1932, exhibition print 1995 = photograph originally printed in 1932, exhibition print (or any later print) made in 1995. Alternative: 1932 (1995 exhibition print)

For a work in a series, the date of the series alone suffices if it includes the date of the print; if not, both dates must be given. Examples:

Manhattan View, from the portfolio New York Skyline, 1932
Manhattan View, 1931, from the portfolio New York Skyline, 1932

See also Chicago 9.30–37.


For two-dimensional works of art, height precedes width; depth follows for three-dimensional works. Always compare the measurements against the photograph of the artwork to make sure that dimensions are given in the correct order. For example, if a picture is of an obviously horizontal artwork and this does not correspond to the order of the dimensions, check with the owner of the artwork; the measurements may be transposed, or there may be a typo in the numbers.

The following abbreviations may be used where necessary in captions (not in running text):

D/D./ d/d.: depth
Diam/Diam., diam, diam.: diameter
Est. diam.: estimated diameter
Max. diam.: maximum diameter
H/H./ h/h.: height
L/L./ l/l.: length
T/T./ t/t.: thickness
W/W./ w/w.: width
in./ft.: inches, feet
mm/cm/m: millimeters, centimeters, meters
sq. in./ft.: square inches, feet

A lowercase x may be used for by, or a multiplication sign, but use only one or the other. Always use a word space on either side of the x. Editors should mark a lowercase x to be set as a multiplication sign (*).

Use the inch as the basic unit of measurement in captions and catalogue entries. Inches may be signified with the abbreviation in., used just once per set of dimensions: 17 x 19 in.; 106 x 27 x 8 in. It may also be indicated by inch marks. When foot and inch marks are used, repeat the mark in a set of dimensions: 6’ 2” x 12’ 10”. Editors should indicate the use of foot and inch marks for the designer/typesetter/printer, especially if quotation marks were used in the manuscript.

Most publishers and institutions use inches up to 99 and feet and inches thereafter.

However, if there are only a few dimensions over 99”, it is best to use inches throughout.

If centimeters are given, that measurement should follow in parentheses: 96 x 96 x 24 in. (243.8 x 243.8 x 61 cm).

In most cases, convert millimeters to centimeters: 3.5 cm, not 35 mm. Use 5 cm, not 5.0 cm, and .5 cm, not 0.5 or 0.50 cm. (Works on paper, however, are often given in millimeters.)

1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.

To convert inches to centimeters, multiply the inch figure by 2.54.

To convert centimeters to inches, divide the centimeter figure by 2.54. If you use a conversion table, check its accuracy by making a few conversions with a calculator.

Standard decimal-to-fraction conversions:

.125 = 1/8”
.375 = 3/8”
.625 = 5/8”
.875 = 7/8”

The following range of figures may be used in converting decimals to fractions:

.063 – .125 – .187 = 1/8”
.188 – .250 – .312 = 1/4”
.313 – .375 – .437 = 3/8”
.438 – .500 – .562 = 1/2”
.563 – .625 – .687 = 5/8”
.688 – .750 – .812 = 3/4”
.813 – .875 – .937 = 7/8”
.938 – .999 = 1” (round off to the next highest whole number)
2/5 rounds off to 3/8
3/5 rounds off to 5/8
1/3 rounds off to 3/8
2/3 rounds off to 5/8
4/5 rounds off to 7/8
1/5 rounds off to 1/4

As a general rule, use only the half, quarter, and eighth fractions. Change all sixteenths and thirty-seconds to the nearest rounded fractions. (Some institutions, however, go down to sixteenths, especially for works on paper.) It is unacceptable to leave dimensions of a third inch, a fifth inch, or a tenth inch.

It is strongly recommended to put a note on the copyright page of a book or preceding a checklist. Example:

Dimensions are in inches (and centimeters); height precedes width precedes depth.

If the dimensions are unfixed, use “dimensions variable.”

If the dimensions are given as “life-size,” no further dimensions are needed.

If the words “sight,” “overall,” or “each” are used to qualify dimensions, these may go at the end of the line, in parentheses if only inch dimensions are used and without parentheses if centimeters are used as well. Examples:

30 x 40 in. (sight)
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm), sight
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm), sight

If a work has more than one part, this information precedes the dimensions. Examples:

eight parts, 115 7/8 x 83 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (294.3 x 212.1 x 26.7 cm) overall
three panels, each 50 x 30 inches

“Approximately” or “approx.” usually precedes the dimensions. Example:

approximately (or: approx.) 30 x 40”

Examples of dimensions for prints:

image: 7 7/8 x 12 3/8” (20 x 31.4 cm); sheet: 10 x 14 1/8” (25.4 x 35.9 cm)
sheet, 11 5/16 x 15 13/16 inches; image, 7 9/16 x 11 3/16 inches
sheet, 12 7/8 x 9 7/8 inches; plate, 6 7/8 x 4 inches

Examples of dimensions for sculpture:

Dimensions with base, 12 x 13 x 14 in.
12 x 13 x 14 in., with base
12 x 13 x 14 in., without base
12 x 13 x 14 in. overall

Examples of dimensions for three-dimensional decorative objects:

[Bowl] h. 10.3 cm (4 in.), max. diam. 28 cm (11 in.)
[Tumbler] 3 7/8 x 3 1/16” (diam.)

In text, use numerals for dimensions, use by instead of x, and spell out the word inch and any other dimension. Examples:

The painting is 9 by 12 inches.
She used an 8-by-10-inch canvas.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops is 482 feet high.

See also Captions, Catalogue entries and checklists, and Measurements Conversion Chart (at Helpful Links).

Electronic media and devices


Website titles are given in roman without quotation marks and are capitalized headline style. Be sure that when referring to a Website, it is differentiated from print materials either by the title, name of sponsor, author, or by a short description. Use quotation marks for titled sections or “pages” within a Website. Website titles that correspond to books or articles can be styled accordingly. Give revision dates for pages that are continuously updated.


Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
the Website of the Chicago Tribune; the Chicago Tribune online;
Google; Google Art Project; “Google Art Project Collections”
Christie’s Art Auctions; “Fine Art Storage Services”

A sample bibliographic Website citation:

Smithsonian Institution. “Exhibitions at the Smithsonian.” Last modified January 11, 2013.


Cite blogs, named podcasts, and video blogs in a style similar to that used for periodical articles. Include the author of the post; the name of the post; the blog title or description; the name of the parent publication (if there is one); the date of posting; and the URL.

A note example:

Michael Kurcfeld, “An Artist’s Game of Chance on the High Seas,” Arts Beat (blog), New York Times, January 8, 2013,

Blogs that are frequently cited can be included in a bibliography. Note that a date is not included. Example:

Rushmore, R. J. “Rae’s Latest Street Sculpture.” Vandalog [blog].

A podcast note example:

Allan McCollum, “Collection of Forty Plaster Surrogates, 1982,” Museum of Modern Art, New York. May 18, 2012. Podcast.


Various formats and devices can be used to download electronic books from a bookstore or library, including PDF e-book, Amazon Kindle, Kobo eReader, Microsoft Reader, and EPUB. They are identified at the end of a full citation. Example:

Souter, Gerry. Frida Kahlo. New York: Parkstone International, 2011. PDF e-book.


Books that have entered the public domain are often available online at no cost. The electronic format should always be given for the source of the text. A full bibliographic example:

Speed, Harold. The Practice and Science of Drawing. Reprint of 1913 London edition, Project Gutenberg, 2004. ftp//


To the extent possible, provide full publication details. Include medium information, such as the type of source (examples: podcast, video, DVD), length, and other relevant facts about the original source or performance. The electronic file name, or URL, should be included. Give the date last accessed if the source has no date. Note that electronic content with no formal publisher or sponsoring body has the status of unpublished work, but the copyright restrictions are the same as for any published material.

A note example:

“Mona Lisa’s ‘Twin Sister’ Discovered in Spain’s Prado Art Museum,” YouTube video, 0:53, Asianet News, February 21, 2012,

A bibliographic example:

Luhrmann, Baz. “Commentary.” William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” music ed. DVD. Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox, 1996.

Brand names for electronic devices (examples: iPod, iPhone) do not need capitalization, even at the beginning of a sentence or a heading.


Three ellipsis points indicate an omission within a sentence.

Four ellipsis points indicate an omission of the last part of a sentence, the first part of a sentence, a whole sentence or more, or a whole paragraph or more.

If three ellipsis points are used, spaces should separate the points from each other and from the words preceding and following. The points should be typed individually; do not use Microsoft Word’s unit ellipsis unless so instructed by the publisher. If four points are used, the first point serves as a period and should not be separated from the preceding word. Example:

“A strong rhythm dominates José Clemente Orozco’s Zapatistas. . . . Diagonal lines . . . dominate the entire composition.”

If a sentence preceding four ellipsis points ends in a question mark or exclamation point, that punctuation replaces the period, to be followed by three ellipsis points. Example:

“What’s Hecuba to him?. . .”

Ellipses are not used to indicate missing or illegible words or parts of words. See Inscriptions.

See also Quotations.

Exhibition catalogues

Most exhibition catalogues share a number of components particular to them. These may include, in order (more or less) from front to back: a list of the exhibition schedule—including the travel itinerary and the exhibition’s funders and sponsors—which often appears on the copyright page; the Contents page (in cases of multiple contributors to the catalogue entries, this may be the only place where the full names of authors who wrote catalogue entries are given); the sponsor’s statement; lenders to the exhibition (may also appear with the back matter); list of trustees; funders (often given on the copyright page); the director’s foreword; acknowledgments, usually listing all the people who contributed money, expertise, writing, or artwork; essay or essays; catalogue entries; chronology; bibliography (possibly including an exhibition history); and index.

The catalogue entries themselves have several components: catalogue number; artist, nationality, dates; title of work; where created, date; material/medium; dimensions; signature/inscription information; credit line; accession number; text; provenance, or ex coll.; bibliography, or references; exhibitions, or exhibited; condition; related works; remarks. If short forms are used for the elements of bibliography and exhibitions, then the full information will be found in the overall bibliography at the end of the catalogue. For specific instructions, see Catalogue entries and checklists, Chronology, Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Exhibition history, Inscriptions, Notes.

Titles of exhibition catalogues are italicized. See Chicago 8.195.

There are many ways to style an exhibition catalogue in notes, bibliography, and exhibition history. For purposes of notes and bibliography, the most important information is the publisher, which may be different from the venue. For exhibition histories, the venue is the essential information. It is possible, of course, to offer all of this information, but many formats are tailored to the purpose. Examples:

Rosenberg, Pierre. France in the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1982. [If the publisher is not the museum, the place of publication should be the publisher’s location.]

Metropolitan Museum of Art. François Boucher. Exh. cat., New York, 1986.

Alain Beausire, “Le Marcottage,” in La Sculpture française au XIXe siècle, exh. cat. (Paris: Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1986), 95. [This gives the publisher rather than the venue.]

Brooks, Rosetta. “Spiritual American.” In Lisa Phillips, Richard Prince (exhibition catalogue). New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1991, 85–108. [This gives the venue as publisher, without copublisher or distributor.]

Ruth Butler, “Rodin and the Paris Salon,” in Rodin Rediscovered, ed. Albert E. Elsen [exh. cat., National Gallery of Art] (Washington, D.C., 1981), 21. [This separates the venue and publishing information.]

Dayton Art Institute, Ohio, American Expatriate Painters of the Late Nineteenth Century (1976), exh. cat. by Michael Quick, pp. 100–101.

Elizabeth Cropper, Pietro Testa, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1988. [If publishing information is different, it may be added in parentheses.]

Miller, Lillian B., ed. The Peale Family. Exh. cat. New York: Abbeville Press in association with the Trust for Museum Exhibitions and the National Portrait Gallery, 1996.

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Max Beckmann. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1968. [In bibliography, under the heading “Exhibition Catalogues.”]

Paris, Grand Palais; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974–75. Centenaire de l’impressionnisme. English edition, Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition. [In bibliography, under the shortened reference Paris, New York 1974–75.]

Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, 1933. Renoir. Catalogue preface by Paul Jamot. [In bibliography, under the shortened reference Paris 1933.]

John Plummer, ed. The Glazier Collection of Illuminated Manuscripts. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 1968. [In bibliography, under the shortened reference New York, Glazier Collection, 1968 (to distinguish it from another entry of New York 1968; in such cases, short titles are preferable to letters).]

Exhibition history

This refers to two different elements: a listing of an artist’s exhibitions in an artist monograph or exhibition catalogue, usually preceding the bibliography; and an item in an exhibition catalogue entry listing all the venues where the object was displayed. The latter is also called “Exhibitions” or “Exhibited.”

The first type may take many forms. Most are divided into solo exhibitions (or one-artist shows) and group exhibitions, both arranged chronologically, from earliest to most recent. If opening and closing dates are used, exhibitions should be arranged chronologically by opening date. If only the year or years are used, then the exhibitions within each year may be arranged alphabetically by venue or by location. (The latter may be more sensible than trying to decide if Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum should be under S or G, and whether Mary Boone Gallery is under M or B. There is no set rule. However, it may not be helpful if many exhibitions took place in the same city.)

The listing of one-artist exhibitions may omit the titles of the exhibition, which usually consist only of the artist’s name; if the title is different, it may be included. Example:

1982 Associated American Artists Gallery, Philadelphia and New York, Sittings: Portraits by Will Barnet, Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York.

The listing of group exhibitions should include the full title of the show. Example:

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, 1989 [or: September 4–November 17, 1989]

For traveling exhibitions, the information may be indicated by the simple addition (traveled) at the end of the entry. Otherwise, all travel stops may be listed, usually after the opening venue, with just the year or the entire range of dates, so long as the same information is given for each item throughout. Some sample forms:

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, September 4–November 17, 1989 (traveled to: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990).

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, September 4–November 17, 1989. Traveled to: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990.

1979 Will Barnet: Twenty Years of Painting and Drawing, Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, College at Purchase, and John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.

1977 Perceptions of the Spirit in Twentieth-Century American Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art and subsequent tour.

If the organizing institution is not the first venue, that may be indicated as follows:

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (organizer), A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation (traveled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, September 4–November 17, 1989; Whitney Museum of American Art, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990).

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, September 4–November 17, 1989. Traveled to: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990 (organizer).

A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, September 4–November 17, 1989; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (organizer), December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990.

If both venues are co-organizers, that term may simply be added after each venue. Example:

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (co-organizer), A Forest of Signs, September 4–November 17, 1989; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (co-organizer), December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990.

Exhibition services, such as American Federation of Arts, Independent Curators, and SITES, that organize but do not exhibit may be listed as follows:

1967 American Masters—Art Students League, American Federation of Arts, New York, and subsequent tour.
American Federation of Arts, New York (organizer), American Masters—Art Students League. Traveled to [give venues chronologically by opening date].

The element “Exhibitions” or “Exhibited” in an exhibition catalogue entry may also take many forms. It may give full exhibition information (venue, location, year, title, number, plate, or page numbers in the catalogue), or it may give shortened names, with full information found in the bibliography. A shortened name may give the location and year only. Examples:

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1910, no. 114 or no. 117; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, 1924, Retrospective Exhibition of Important Works of John Singer Sargent, no. 2, as The Lady with the Rose—My Sister;Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 1950, The Adelaide Hilton de Groot Loan Collection, no cat.; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1983, Painting in the South (trav. exh.), exh. cat. by D. R. Smith, pp. 48–50; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987, American Paradise, exh. cat. by J. Howat et al., pp. 48–50, no. 120.

Detroit Institute of Arts, 1940, The Age of Impressionism, no. 27 (Vase of Flowers, lent by the Bignou Gallery, New York); New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1960, Paintings from Private Collections, no. 64; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, 1987, Franse meesters uit hand Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 13.

Peale’s portrait gallery (?), Independence Hall, Philadelphia, ca. 1782, then the Peale Museum, Philadelphia, from ca. 1786–1854; The Fabulous Peale Family, Kennedy Galleries, New York, June 13–July 8, 1960; The Voyage of Life, Bayou Bend Museum of Americana at Tenneco, Houston, September 22, 1991–February 26, 1993.

Paris 1931, no. 114; Antwerp 1948, no. 227; Amsterdam 1949, no. 123a; Antwerp 1954, no. 267; Essen 1956, no. 409; Edinburgh 1958, no. 102; Athens 1964, no. 63; Brussels 1982, no. Iv. 10; Cologne 1985, no. G 11.

Exhibition labels, object labels, wall labels

Every exhibiting institution has its own style for the identifying labels that appear with the objects displayed in its galleries. Essentially, they repeat the information given in the checklist or catalogue entry, often following the same or a similar format. Labels with text, sometimes called chats or didactics, usually follow the same rules as any other kind of text.

Some exhibition labels are so extensive they have been cited in notes. The following format may be used:

See Michael Kauffmann, “Typology—the Old Testament,” wall label for Rubens and the Bible, curated by Helen Braham, Courtauld Institute Galleries (Somerset House), London, 1990–93.

Exhibition titles

Titles of exhibitions are italicized in upper- and lowercase. Examples:

The Glory of Byzantium
Primitivism in Twentieth-Century Art

Some types of exhibitions, however—such as expositions, world’s fairs, or recurrent shows—are usually cited in roman type, upper- and lowercase, as for a title. Examples:

Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia
Exposition Universelle, Paris
International Exposition of Fine Arts, Barcelona
Salon of 1864
Salon des Refusés
Whitney Biennial

Be sure to cite as titles only the official names of exhibitions. For example, the first Impressionist exhibition is a description, not a title.

Titles of exhibition catalogues are italicized.


Extended quotations—the length varies, from more than fifty words to more than one hundred words to more than ten typed lines—are set off from the text with a line space above and below the quotation, indented one-half inch from the left margin, and double-spaced. Extracts should not be enclosed in quotation marks, and any quotations within them should be enclosed with double, not single, quotation marks. An extract placed before the text begins is known as an epigraph.

See Chicago 13.21–22.

See also Quotations.

Figure and plate references

Most texts use the words figure and plate spelled out in text and the abbreviations fig. and pl. in parenthetical references and captions. Examples:

For a painting by Matisse, see figure 2.
Matisse’s Harmony in Red (fig. 2) shows the influence of the rich fabric designs of North Africa.

Fig. 2. Henri Matisse, Harmony in Red, . . .

Some museums and publishers prefer capitalizing figure and plate. Example:

In Kienholz’s Ozymandias Parade (Fig. 72), unlike State Hospital and John Doe (Figs. 43, 65), we find . . .

For cross-references to illustrations within the book, use a blind reference (see plate 00) and indicate in pencil, circled in the margin, the tentative illustration number or title referred to.


See Notes.

Foreign languages

Foreign-language quotations are set out and punctuated in the same way as English-language quotations. If an English translation would be useful to readers, place it either before or after the original quotation. If avoiding clutter is desirable, place the original-language text in an endnote or footnote rather than in the text. If the author of the text has not provided the translation, the translator/source must be given. Foreign-language quotations should not be put in italics or underlined.

Capitalization of publication titles, in notes and bibliographies as well as in text: For the most part, adhere to the rules of sentence-style capitalization for the language in question—that is, capitalize the initial word of the title and subtitle and any words that would normally be capitalized in prose. An English translation can follow in parentheses. Example:

Gustave Flaubert’s L’Éducation sentimentale (ASentimental Education) was published in 1869.

Some publishers follow an alternative rule of capitalizing all words up to and including the first substantive. Example:

La Jeune Femme

Whichever rule is adopted, follow it consistently. It should be noted that title pages in the original language are not reliable guides in this respect.

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