Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. How does one cite the place of publication of an older book issued in a city whose name or nation has since changed? For example, a book might describe itself on its title page as having been published in Pressburg (now Bratislava) or in Straßburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France). Should I give the place as it existed when the book was published or as it exists now?

A. Record the place of publication as printed in the source itself. The cities you mention are still known in German as Pressburg and Straßburg, so the differences may depend not only on the date of publication but also on the language. If the name of the city as it is officially designated today is relevant in some way to your reason for citing it or might be helpful for your intended audience, you can add it (and any other relevant details) in square brackets: e.g., Pressburg [Bratislava]. But in most cases, the year of publication will supply sufficient context. See also CMOS 6.99 and 14.131.