Schoharie County Historical Review
2.01 Abridged — January 2005
These guidelines are intended to assist writers in preparing material for the Schoharie County Historical Review. Guidelines cannot, of course, cover every possible question or issue. Prospective writers may contact the editor with any questions.
Letters may be posted to P.O. Box 711, Schoharie N.Y. 12157; evening and weekend telephone calls are welcome at 518-295-7341. The e-mail address is Review@SchoharieHistory.Net
Lester E. Hendrix,
Schoharie County Historical Review
This is an abridged version of Schoharie County Historical Review Writer's Guide, second edition, which is available from the editor and on-line at SchoharieHistory.Net/Review/WritersGuideWeb.htm. Both are written to assist writers in preparing material for the Historical Review.
The Historical Review covers the history, families and culture of Schoharie County, New York. We seek well-researched, well-written articles that appeal to intelligent, inquisitive readers. We write the Historical Review for the reader, not the writer.
The authorities for the Historical Review are Random House dictionaries for spelling; Merriam-Webster's style rules, for which we have a few exceptions including a simplified footnote system described herein; Garner's Modern American Usage for general usage; and the American Heritage Book of English Usage for language sensitivity.
Bryan Garner's 2003 work is every bit as good as Henry W. Fowler's classic, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, is based on better scholarship and is nearly eighty years more current. Garner fails to address language sensitivity but the American Heritage book does a superb job.
Webster's style guides are excellent and widely available: They may be found in the back of many Merriam-Webster dictionaries, as part of other Merriam-Webster reference publications, and are published separately in Merriam-Webster's Guide to Punctuation and Style (ISBN: 0877799210) a 4" x 7" pocket paperback retailing for about $6.00.
Both Random House and American Heritage dictionaries may be relied upon for spelling. Merriam-Webster does not follow its style rules when entering abbreviations in its dictionaries: Dr., co. and many other abbreviations that by convention and Webster's rules require periods are listed in Webster's dictionary without periods.
Random House offers a larger dictionary than does American Heritage. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, second edition, is our ultimate spelling authority. The publisher also offers a college edition, an excellent paperback and a pocket edition. The paperback and larger editions contain writing guides that address modern sensitivities. The American Heritage Dictionary has a usage panel and can supplement Garner as to whether a particular new word is being accepted as Standard English or is considered substandard for some reason. It is also available on-line at http://www.bartleby.com/61/
The Schoharie County Historical Review grew from the four-page mimeographed quarterly newsletter that the Schoharie County Historical Society first published in 1937 under the name Yo-Sko-Ha-Ro Quarterly. In 1939, Yo-Sko-Ha-Ro was expanded to twelve pages and the publication of historical articles commenced. The magazine is now published on the World Wide Web as well as in print. The Web address is http://www.SchoharieHistory.net/Review/schr.htm.
All content in the Historical Review is copyrighted by the author or the Schoharie County Historical Society as a work made for hire. The author's signed cover letter must state that the work is the author's own. It must authorize both print and Web publication and, if copyrighted by the author, grant first print and Web publication rights, and non-exclusive reprint rights, to the Schoharie County Historical Society and Schoharie County Historical Review. See the authorization letter herein for content.
Authors and Manuscripts
We do not require any minimum training or experience and we expect to assist inexperienced researchers and writers. We introduce authors in a head note and identify them consistently from issue to issue. A brief statement of qualifications is given and may be as little as John Doe, of Hometown, has read widely on the subject. State relevant academic degrees (master and above) and any fiscal interest, affiliation with the subject or other interest in the subject. Place the article title and author information on a separate page preceding the text. Provide your name, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address.
Submit by e-mail, CD, computer disk or paper copy. We cannot use diskettes formatted for Macintosh. We do not open e-mail attachments unless we expect to receive them. Paper copy will be scanned into editable text. Scanning requires clear typed or ink-jet printed, double-spaced copy on 8½" x 11" paper with standard twelve-point type size or ten characters per inch, and one-inch margins. Do not use erasable paper or submit carbon copies or flimsies.
Articles must be received by January 31 for the spring issue and by July 31 for the fall issue.
We evaluate manuscripts based on subject, research, interest, literary style and quality of writing. An article is not accepted until the manuscript is reviewed and revised, and the author and editor agree on revisions. If we find your article generally suitable, it will be provisionally accepted, pending final mutual approval of the edited version.
All articles, no matter how well written,can be improved; we will seek to do so. The Historical Review is not a vehicle for distribution of a writer's unique writing style; we edit for ease of reading and conformity to Standard English. Articles reflect the editor's as well as the author's writing preferences.
Following editing, we return a revised manuscript with comments and questions for review, proofing, response and approval. Editing and revision of an article may occur several times. Following the final revision, the author is provided with magazine-formatted pages for final proofing.
Research, Sources and Proof
Our purpose is to reveal, not to conceal. The reader is entitled to know the sources of your facts and the basis and of your conclusions. Write with the assumption that the reader has a critical mind, a college degree, and knows as much or more than you do about the subject.
When advancing a conclusion or hypothesis, or a position that is controversial or contrary to the widely accepted, please document with primary sources the underlying facts that lead to the conclusion. Address alternate views. Footnote the proofs and discuss alternative views in text. We seldom use conclusions of “first,” “largest,” “only,” etc. and then only with a showing of historical relevance, suitable documentation and appropriate disclaimers.
Footnotes and Bibliography
The Historical Reviewis neither a scholarly journal nor a college research paper. It is a magazine for the masses. Readers are entitled to both easy reading and sound documentation. We do not use Latin abbreviations, which are meaningless to many readers. Use brief footnotes and full bibliographic entries. The brief footnote takes this form:
Robert was later sold for fifteen
dollars to the captain of a sloop on Lake Ontario.1
1. Priest, Stories, 7.
[Sequential note number with period, author's last name, comma, short title of work, comma, page number, period.]
At the end of the article, follow up the brief footnotes with bibliographic entries in this form:
Priest, Josiah, Stories
of the Revolution. Albany N.Y.: Hoffman & White, 1883.
[Author's name, last name first; full title of work as on title page, period. City of publication, colon, name of publisher, comma, year of publication or copyright, period.]
List in the bibliography all works cited in the footnotes and all other works used in preparing an article. Use the humanities examples in the bibliography section of the Merriam-Webster style guide. Omit specific page numbers unless you wish to indicate that only part of the cited work is relevant. Note that additional information may be added to the basic bibliographic entry:
Simms, Jeptha R., Frontiersman of New York. 2 vols. Albany N.Y.: George C. Riggs, 1882. An expanded and corrected version of Simms's earlier and better known History of Schoharie County and Border Wars of New York.
Special conventions exist for citing archival material, government documents, interviews, speeches, etc. See Merriam-Webster, consult the editor or be brave and wing it.
Here are some other examples of the brief footnote and full bibliographic entry:
Sullivan, “Foxes Creek Raid,” 30-31.
Sullivan, Mark. “The Foxes Creek Raid.” Schoharie County Historical Review, spring 1983.
Article in Booklet in Numbered Series
Andrews, “Community Industries,” 9.
Andrews, Edward D. “The Community Industries of the Shakers.” New YorkStateMuseum Handbook 15.Albany, N.Y.: The University of State of New York, 1932.
Article in Newspaper, Unsigned
“Hotel Baker Fire,”
Middleburgh News, 1.
“Hotel Baker Fire.” Middleburgh [N.Y.] News, 19 Feb. 1942.
Article in Printed Book, Taken from Internet, No Author
“Alberti Baker,” History of the MohawkValley, 9.
“Alberti Baker.” History of the MohawkValley &mdash: Gateway to the West &mdash: 1614-1925; Covering The Six Counties of Schenectady, Schoharie, Montgomery, Fulton, Herkimer and Oneida. 3 vols., vol. 3. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1925. Accessed online 16 Feb. 2004 at http://darcisplace.com/darci/bakeralb.htm.
Book, Multiple Authors
Ellis and others, New York, 19. [If two authors, list both; otherwise list
first and add “and others.”
Ellis, David M., James A. Frost, and William B. Fink.New York: The EmpireState.Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1980.
Heitman, Register of Officers, 37.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775 to December 1783. Washington, D.C.: W.H. Lowdermilk & Co. 1893. Washington, D.C.: Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914. Reprint, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973.
Book, Second Edition
Cox and Klausner, Cornell Field Crops, 12.
Cox, W. J. and S. D. Klausner, eds. Cornell Field Crops and Soils Handbook. 2nd ed. Agricultural bulletin. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 1987.
Our language is fluid. In recent years, we have become quite sensitive to identification of individuals by race, national origin, marital status and other criteria. What is in good taste or even best practice one day may become unacceptable to a vocal interest group the next. Interest groups and individuals seeking social change, and people opposing linguistic change, are sometimes on solid ground and sometimes blowing wind.
Write for the long term, not for today's trend. Avoid characterizing and generalizing. Precision is far better then generality. Names and labels require caution. Ask yourself, is there a purpose or need to include race, gender, title or whatever? That said, we find a superb chapter on the subject in the American Heritage Book of English Usage. The Random House dictionaries also have guidelines and Garner addresses sexism. Here is a brief guide:
It is seldom necessary to identify a person by their ethnic affiliation, so avoid it unless necessary.
Do not use minority to refer to a single individual. In phrases such as minority restaurant, use another word, such as ethnic. White, black, brown, red and yellow have long been used to identify different racial groups. Only white and black are acceptable (at this time). Colored as a reference to non-white peoples can be offensive. People of color is in acceptable use (now) but is vague. In the rare case that racial identification is necessary, be more specific.
Although we often see the hyphen in compounds such as Irish American and Italian American, it is disappearing when used in proper nouns. We shall be consistent and omit it excepting when required by grammar. Do not use nationalities in pejorative senses as Welsh and others can be used.
Aborigine. Use aborigine only in reference to the natives of Australia and then capitalize it.
African American, Afro-American, black. Black is the preferred designation. Do not capitalize black in this use. African American (no hyphen) is also widely accepted. Afro-American has declined in use. Negro can be offensive. Negress is unacceptable.
American Indian. Indianalone is ambiguous but is accepted by large parts of the native population and is used by native writers. Native American and American Indian are preferred. Being an improper noun, native is capitalized only as part of the compound proper noun Native American and in other constructions requiring a capital.
Asian, Asian American, Amerasian, Asiatic. Asian is now preferred to Oriental. An Asian American is an American of Asian descent; a more specific reference such as Chinese American is preferred. An Amerasian is a person with one Asian parent and one American parent.
Caucasian is not a synonym for white. It refers only to residents or natives of the Caucasusregion between the Black and Caspian seas. European American is slowly coming into the language as an acceptable alternative to white.
Hispanic and Latino are not synonyms. Despite the federal government's misuse, Hispanic does not refer to a race. Both refer to diverse groups of people with a common language. Hispanic includes Europeans and is broader. Precision is preferred, as in Mexican American. There are also translation issues with Latino and Latina; do not use them.
Jew is acceptable as a noun but unacceptable as a modifier in constructions such as Jew lawyer.
Colors and politics.
Red is unacceptable for an American Indian or Communist, pink unacceptable for liberal and fascist unacceptable for conservative. At this writing, green is an acceptable reference to an environmentalist and Johnson's Greens an acceptable reference to the King's Royal Rangers of New York. Reference by color seems to be in style one year and out the next.
Use disabled to refer to people with physical or mental impairments and disability to refer to the impairment itself. Handicap and handicapped are also acceptable. Impaired is acceptable but use it with care. Constructions such as hearing-impaired and visually impaired are acceptable when the impairment is less than total. Use blind or deaf when the impairment is total. Avoid cripple and crippled in reference to specific people as they are too blunt. Do not use challenged or other contrived references to people with handicaps or disabilities. Mute is offensive as a reference to a person who cannot speak.
Senior is generally taken as short for senior citizen. While some people feel the two terms are demeaning euphemisms, they are a good choice much of the time. Senior citizen connotes a certain status as well as age. Elderly is usually acceptable as a reference to older people in general but can be offensive when applied to specific persons or in circumstances that imply diminished capacity. The comparative older, which should mean older than merely old, does not always do so. The older person does not imply as much age as the old person. It does not suggest frailty or infirmity and is a fair choice for the range between middle age and very old.
Seek gender neutrality but do not stretch it to the awkward. Use chair rather than chairman or chairperson. Avoid titles like Mrs. and Miss. Use Mr. and Ms. only in a second reference, or first reference when the first name is unknown. In many cases, better alternatives exist, as in firefighter instead of fireman.
In the past twenty-five years or so, a history different from that which many of us learned in school has emerged. This “revisionist” history has caused consternation among some people and in groups such as the Italian-American community where the revisionist view of Christopher Columbus offends some people. History does not change but what we know about history is constantly changing. For many years the writers of history and many school textbooks held a Eurocentric view that emphasized, applauded and romanticized the favorable achievements of a few. Writers glossed over and ignored facts, trends and parts of history that reflected unfavorably on European settlers and their descendants and institutions. Many subjects were not recognized as part of history and were ignored.
History must examine what was previously overlooked. It should be neither a cheering contest nor a public stoning. The largely heroic view of European explorers and settlers that we held for years must be broadened to include the history that we overlooked and ignored for so long &mdash: the history of native peoples, people of color, women and common settlers. The Historical Review seeks a broader view of history than was the norm during most of the twentieth century. Good research and care must be taken not to ignore the valid accomplishments of white males, however.
Preferred Content and Article Length
Stating how long an article should be creates two problems: Some writers will add fluff to reach the target length while others will cut material that should be included. Please do neither.
A printed and formatted page in the Historical Review has about 350 to 400 words of text. Brevity is a virtue. We have no strict limits but will suggest some article lengths for people who need a target; they are guidelines only. When a longer article is of sufficient interest or significance, it will certainly be considered as is. Serialization and condensation are also options. Shorter articles will receive equal consideration.
Antiques. Articles on Schoharie County antiques and antiquing. 1,000 to 1,750 words would be nice.
Biography. Articles about significant, or highly interesting, Schoharie County residents; or of individuals with a clear and relevant tie to Schoharie County. A good length would be about 1,750-3,500 words.
Book Reviews. Reviews of books relating to Schoharie County, by any author, and of books by Schoharie County authors about non-Schoharie or non-historical topics when not self-published. We will not entertain reviews of self-published books unrelated to Schoharie County. A 350-hundred word article takes about a full page and makes a nice length but some books may not merit that much and others may merit twice that.
Curios and Oddities. Brief curios and historical oddities that relate to Schoharie County. 75-350 words.
Current Events. Articles on current history-related activities, anniversary celebrations and events of lasting historical significance. Particularly in the case of the later, please consult the editor in advance because an article on the event may already be in preparation. Reports about anniversary celebrations should include a well-done recap of the original event and discussion of the event's historical relevance. In the case of a national or widely known event, the recap and relevance may be very brief. Current events may be of historical curiosity or an oddity. 1,000-2,800 words may be appropriate.
Death Notices. We will publish death notices of individuals who have made significant contributions to the history of Schoharie County, to our knowledge of the history of Schoharie County, to the Schoharie County Historical Society or to the Historical Review. Length of article is based on the editor's judgment of the significance of the contributions as documented in the article. Submit suitable documentation of the death together with the article. 100-700 words.
Genealogy. Articles about families long resident in Schoharie County. Genealogies tend to be both tedious and of very limited interest, making them very difficult to write well. When writing genealogy for the Historical Review, the article should incorporate and focus on biography with a secondary focus on genealogical details and minimal lists of “begats.” Brevity is a virtue. We have coined the word geneagraphy to describe such articles. We are much more interested in publishing geneagraphies than genealogies. We prefer articles of less than 3,500 words.
Primary Historical Material. Texts or excerpts from recollections, diaries, letters, documents and other primary materials relevant to Schoharie County. Interest and significance will be key factors in length. No maximum.
Recent Events and Trends. Articles on recent events and developing trends in Schoharie County in the past several years, when of interest or of moderate historical note. Write history for the future and include primary materials and citations. And, recognize that the recent past is likely to be too recent for historical interpretation, comment or conclusionary statements. 1,000-3,200 words is a good length.
Recollections. Recollections of events years ago. These need not bear extensive documentation; often they need none at all. 1,000 to 3,500 words is a good length.
Research Articles. Articles on Schoharie County subjects, events, trends or conditions ten or more years ago, citing primary sources and interpreting historical events. About 3,000 words is a good size but do not be afraid to contribute shorter or longer articles. A working range might be 1,500 to 6,600 words.
Summary Articles. Articles on events, trends, conditions, communities or organizations of Schoharie County. Summary articles do not require as extensive documentation as research articles. They may rely entirely on secondary sources and are not expected to be definitive. They may not be conclusionary or be presented as definitive. Summary articles might be of 1,400 to 3,500 words.
Uniquely Schoharie. Articles on the unique character or unusual facets of Schoharie County culture including antiques such as Schoharie chests, recipes such as Sloughter potpie, and legends and folklore such as the Esperance Witch. A good length may be 350 to 2,400 words.
Content Exclusions. We do not publish lists crediting people with attending, arranging, organizing or assisting at events; nor editing, proofing, writing, library, research or other assistants who did not contribute enough to be considered co-authors. When one individual researches and another writes, each is considered a co-author. We do not publish reviews of self-published works unrelated to Schoharie County. We will generally not print articles on a subject that was featured in the Historical Review in recent years. Major articles on widely reported events or figures (for example, the Johnson-Brant raid and Timothy Murphy) must contain significant new information. Otherwise, a brief article on the event or figure, published in conjunction with an anniversary or five or more years after the last article, may be used
Deadlines January 31 for April issue, July 31 for October issue.
Article Length Flexible; see page 8 for suggestions for various types of articles.
Query Letter Appreciated.
Usage Authority Garner'sModern American Usage (see Introduction).
Spelling Authority RandomHouse Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (see Introduction).
Style Authority Merriam-Webster guides(see Introduction).
Footnotes Unique; see Footnotes and Bibliography. Always required in research andconclusionary articles, may be required in others.
Editorial Contact Lester E. Hendrix, editor
PO Box 711 Schoharie NY 12157
Email: Review at SchoharieHistory dot Net
Business / Back Issues Old Stone Fort Museum
145 Fort Road, SchoharieNY12157