GEDCOM/SOUR-Tag

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This page is an English extract of the German page GEDCOM/SOUR-Tag [1], for full details see the German page.

Name and Meaning

Tag

SOUR

Meaning

SOURCE

Usage

The initial or original material from which information was obtained.

Formal Description of Permissible Values

Base: GEDCOM Standard Draft 5.5.1

SOUR in Header of the GEDCOM File

The HEADER structure forms the head of the file and contains information about the entire transmission. The name of the source system ( SOUR ) system identifies which system sent the data.

n HEAD {1:1}
+1 SOUR <APPROVED_SYSTEM_ID> {1:1}
+2 VERS <VERSION_NUMBER> {0:1}
+2 NAME <NAME_OF_PRODUCT> {0:1}
+2 CORP <NAME_OF_BUSINESS> {0:1}
+3 <<ADDRESS_STRUCTURE>> {0:1}
+2 DATA <NAME_OF_SOURCE_DATA> {0:1}
+3 DATE <PUBLICATION_DATE> {0:1}
+3 COPR <COPYRIGHT_SOURCE_DATA> {0:1}
+4 [CONT|CONC]<COPYRIGHT_SOURCE_DATA> {0:M}
...

For more details see page HEAD

APPROVED_SYSTEM_ID:= {Size=1:20}

A system identification name which was obtained through the GEDCOM registration process. This name must be unique from any other product. Spaces within the name must be substituted with a 0x5F ( underscore _ ) so as to create one word.

VERSION_NUMBER:= {Size=1:15}

An identifier that represents the version level assigned to the associated product. It is defined and changed by the creators of the product.

NAME_OF_PRODUCT:= {Size=1:90}

The name of the software product that produced this transmission

NAME_OF_BUSINESS:= {Size=1:90}

Name of the business, corporation, or person that produced or commissioned the product.

NAME_OF_SOURCE_DATA:= {Size=1:90}

The name of the electronic data source that was used to obtain the data in this transmission. For example, the data may have been obtained from a CD-ROM disc that was named "U.S. 1880 CENSUS CD-ROM vol. 13."

PUBLICATION_DATE:= {Size=10:11} <DATE_EXACT>

The date this source was published or created.

COPYRIGHT_SOURCE_DATA:= {Size=1:90}

A copyright statement required by the owner of data from which this information was down- loaded. For example, when a GEDCOM down-load is requested from the Ancestral File, this would be the copyright statement to indicate that the data came from a copyrighted source.

ADDRESS_STRUCTURE

This is defined on a separate page see <<ADDRESS_STRUCTURE>>.

Further Use of SOUR

Besides the use of SOUR in the header ( with its own structure in this context ) SOUR is used as SOURCE_CITATION in many places in the GEDCOM structure. The GEDCOM standard defines at following places:

FAM_RECORD
INDIVIDUAL_RECORD
MULTIMEDIE_RECORD
NOTE_RECORD
ASSOCIATION_STRUCTURE
EVENT_DETAIL
LDS_INDIVIDUAL_ORDINANCE ( at BAPL, CONL, ENDL, SGLC )
LDS_SPOUSE_SEALING ( at SGLS )
PERSONAL_NAME_PIECES

Source Citation

SOURCE_CITATION:=
[ /* pointer to source record ( preferred ) */
n SOUR @<XREF:SOUR>@ {1:1}
+1 PAGE <WHERE_WITHIN_SOURCE> {0:1}
+1 EVEN <EVENT_TYPE_CITED_FROM> {0:1}
+2 ROLE <ROLE_IN_EVENT> {0:1}
+1 DATA {0:1}
+2 DATE <ENTRY_RECORDING_DATE> {0:1}
+2 TEXT <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE> {0:M}
+3 [CONC|CONT] <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE> {0:M}
+1 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>> {0:M}
+1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 QUAY <CERTAINTY_ASSESSMENT> {0:1}
 
| /* systems not using source records */
n SOUR <SOURCE_DESCRIPTION> {1:1}
+1 [CONC|CONT] <SOURCE_DESCRIPTION> {0:M}
+1 TEXT <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE> {0:M}
+2 [CONC|CONT] <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE> {0:M}
+1 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>> {0:M}
+1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 QUAY <CERTAINTY_ASSESSMENT> {0:1}
]

The data provided in the <<SOURCE_CITATION>> structure is source-related information specific to the data being cited. ( See GEDCOM examples ) Systems that do not use a ( SOURCE_RECORD ) must use the non-preferred second SOURce citation structure option. When systems that support the zero level source record format encounters a source citation that does not contain pointers to source records, then that system needs to create a SOURCE_RECORD format and store the source description information found in the non-structured source citation in the title area for the new source record.

The information intended to be placed in the citation structure includes:

  • The pointer to the SOURCE_RECORD, which contains a more general description of the sourceused for the fact being cited.
  • Information, such as a page number, to help the user find the cited data within the referenced source. This is stored in the “ .SOUR.PAGE” tag context.
  • Actual text from the source that was used in making assertions, for example a date phrase as actually recorded in the source, or significant notes written by the recorder, or an applicable sentence from a letter. This is stored in the “.SOUR.DATA.TEXT” tag context.
  • Data that allows an assessment of the relative value of one source over another for making the recorded assertions ( primary or secondary source, etc. ). Data needed for this assessment is data that would help determine how much time from the date of the asserted fact and when the source was actually recorded, what type of event was cited, and what type of role did this person have in the cited source.
    • Date when the entry was recorded in source document is stored in the ".SOUR.DATA.DATE" tag context.
    • The type of event that initiated the recording is stored in the “ SOUR.EVEN” tag context. The value used is the event code taken from the table of choices shown in the "<EVENT_TYPE_CITED_FROM>".
    • The role of this person in the event is stored in the ".SOUR.EVEN.ROLE" context.

Source Record

SOURCE_RECORD:=
n @<XREF:SOUR>@ SOUR {1:1}
+1 DATA {0:1}
+2 EVEN <EVENTS_RECORDED> {0:M}
+3 DATE <DATE_PERIOD> {0:1}
+3 PLAC <SOURCE_JURISDICTION_PLACE> {0:1}
+2 AGNC <RESPONSIBLE_AGENCY> {0:1}
+2 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 AUTH <SOURCE_ORIGINATOR> {0:1}
+2 [CONC|CONT] <SOURCE_ORIGINATOR> {0:M}
+1 TITL <SOURCE_DESCRIPTIVE_TITLE> {0:1}
+2 [CONC|CONT] <SOURCE_DESCRIPTIVE_TITLE> {0:M}
+1 ABBR <SOURCE_FILED_BY_ENTRY> {0:1}
+1 PUBL <SOURCE_PUBLICATION_FACTS> {0:1}
+2 [CONC|CONT] <SOURCE_PUBLICATION_FACTS> {0:M}
+1 TEXT <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE> {0:1}
+2 [CONC|CONT] <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE> {0:M}
+1 <<SOURCE_REPOSITORY_CITATION>> {0:M}
+1 REFN <USER_REFERENCE_NUMBER> {0:M}
+2 TYPE <USER_REFERENCE_TYPE> {0:1}
+1 RIN <AUTOMATED_RECORD_ID> {0:1}
+1 <<CHANGE_DATE>> {0:1}
+1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>> {0:M}

Source records are used to provide a bibliographic description of the source cited. ( See the <<SOURCE_CITATION>> structure, which contains the pointer to this source record. )

Preference of Source Records

The GEDCOM standard defines very clear at several places, that instead of the simple, embedded source quotes the structure of the source records ( SOURCE_RECORDS ) should be used. A central point of this is the description of the source citations ( SOURCE_CITATION ), where the source records ( SOURCE_RECORD ) as preferred representation of sources are shown. Nevertheless the simple source quotes ( SOURCE_CITATION ) are also allowed.

The GEDCOM standard also defines:

Systems that describe sources using the AUTHor, TITLe, PUBLication, and REPOsitory fields can and should always pass this information in GEDCOM using a SOURce recordpointed to by the <<SOURCE_CITATION>>. Systems that only allow free form source notes should encourage forming the source information so that it include text about these categories:

  • TITL: A descriptive title of the source
  • AUTH: Who created the work
  • PUBL: When and where was it created
  • REPO: Where can it be obtained or viewed

When possible provide the tag for these categories within the text so that a receiving system could parse them to fit the recommended source/citation structure.

Examples from the GEDCOM Standard 5.5.1

In the GEDCOM standard an example is carried out in which some elements of SOURCE_CITATION and SOURCE_RECORD are used:

1 BIRT
2 DATE 02 OCT 1822
2 PLAC Weston, Madison, Connecticut
2 SOUR @6@
3 PAGE Sec. 2, p. 45
3 EVEN BIRT
4 ROLE CHIL
 
...
 
0 @6@ SOUR
1 DATA
2 EVEN BIRT, DEAT, MARR
3 DATE FROM Jan 1820 TO DEC 1825
3 PLAC Madison, Connecticut
2 AGNC Madison County Court, State of Connecticut
1 TITL Madison County Birth, Death, and Marriage Records
1 ABBR VITAL RECORDS
1 REPO @7@
2 CALN 13B-1234.01
3 MEDI Microfilm
0 @7@ REPO
1 NAME Family History Library
1 ADDR 35 N West Temple Street
2 CONT Salt Lake CITY, Utah
2 CONT UT 84150

Agreements for SOUR

The agreements for SOUR are derived from the discussion on the Gedcom-L. They were decided by a vote of the program authors of the list.

Preface to the Agreements

The discussion in the Gedcom-L was strongly influenced by the fact that the programs involved are very different in the internal treatment of sources. Beside solutions with a multi-line field for source information per individual or family record, solutions that offer a highly differentiated and structured source management are existing. This leads to a noticable difference of information during export. Therefor not all information of an extensive source management can arrive in another application with simpler treatment of the sources.

Agreements to SOUR have therefore essentially the purpose that

  • between programs working with the same structural depth for source management the exchanges per GEDCOM will perform without loss of information.
  • between programs with different structure of the source management at least the common elements will be assigned to the right place during a transmission .

Export of SOUR

E1 Requirements of the GEDCOM Standards 5.5.1 for Sources

The detailed requirements for the structure of the description and citation of sources from the standard must be met.

This applies both to

  • Source citations ( SOURCE_CITATION )

as well as

  • Source records ( SOURCE_RECORD )

E2 Export with/without Source Records

According to the standard, both the export using source records and those without source records ( "embedded sources" ) is allowed. The standard strongly recommends that you use the source records. This recommendation is also followed here, the export without source records remains allowed.

E3 Extent of the Exported Source Structure

A program that internally has a structured source management, has to export this structure according to the specifications of the standard.

E4 Assignment of Source Citations

In addition to assigning the source citations to records, the standard allows also the allocation of any number of source citations to individual events, names, multimedia records, comments. Provides a program internally such assignment capability of source citations, this must also be done accordingly at the GEDCOM export.

Import of SOUR

I1 Extent of Import

A program needs to import from a GEDCOM file those structural contents of sources correctly which may be handled internally. This applies regardless of whether the offered GEDCOM file is build with or without source records. On the other hand, structured data which can't be handled internally are usually lost.

I2 Substituted Transfer of Information

In order to reduce the loss of information based on I1, it is permissible to transfer structured information which can't be processed internally as substitute to a subordinated note. The standard recommends as minimum for such an approach, to incorporate information about TITL, AUTH, PUBL and REPO. This recommendation is followed by the authors involved here. Out of the REPO record the NAME content should be taken, i.e. the description of the location of the source.

I3 Assignment of Source Citations

If a program doesn't have the capability to assign source-citations to individual events, etc, the source citation should nevertheless be taken into account and assigned during the import to the superior record ( individual or family ). Has the program internally however the capability of assigning the source-citations, the assignment from the GEDCOM file must be used.

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