I’m still in the proposal state, in which I’m doing two things at once: writing a 18-page document that, among other things, covers in very sparse detail a bibliography of about 150 texts. So the first part of the Humanities Dissertation Project is to be able to write in Scrivener, build a bibliography in Zotero, and export it into a TeX document that looks great and clings to MLA style. I’m writing in MLA style since that’s what I’m used to seeing.
BibTeX has lots of packages for publishing sciencey or similar bibliographies. The humanities support is, in comparison, awful. But there is some, and it works decently. MLA bibliographies used to be a subset of the jurabib BibTeX package, but jurabib has been frozen. Its mantle is now taken up by BibLaTeX, which has an MLA style.
Unfortunately, BibLaTeX is not installed as part of the MacTeX distribution (as of my writing this). So you’ve got to install it by hand. It’s a three step process, as you actually have to install three separate packages: etoolbox, BibLaTeX, and the MLA definitions.
- Installing etoolbox:
- Download etoolbox.
- The expanded .zip will have a file, “etoolbox.sty.” That’s all you care about here.
- Type Apple-Shift-G in the Finder and under “Go to the Folder:” type in “~/Library/texmf/”
- You are now in the folder where all your personal additions to MacTeX are placed. Inside the tex folder, there should be a “latex” folder. Make a new folder in there called “etoolbox”
- Copy etoolbox.sty into that etoolbox folder.
- Installing BibLaTeX:
- Download BibLaTeX.
- Expand the .zip. The “bibtex” and “latex” folders are what’s important here.
- This is where things get tricky. Go the ~/Library/texmf folder like when you installed etoolbox. Create a folder called “bibtex” at the top level if there isn’t one already. Inside of it, create a folder called “bst”
- Inside the bst folder you just created, put the “biblatex.bst” file (inside of the bibtex folder inside of the biblatex folder from the expanded .zip from step 2.2).
- Now inside the tex/latex/ folder, where you put the etoolbox folder, create a separate folder called “biblatex” Into this folder copy the contents of the “latex” folder from step 2.2 (biblatex.sty, biblatex.def, bibnatex.def, biblatex.cfg, and the lbx, cbx, and bbx folders). It should look like this graphic, where yellow folders are folders you have to create, and green are objects copied over from the etoolbox.zip and the biblatex.zip.
- Installing MLA BibLaTeX definitions:
- Download BibLaTeX-MLA.
- Expand the .zip
- Move the “mla.cbx” file from the biblatex-mla folder you just unzipped into the “cbx” folder in ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex/biblatex/.
- Move the “mla.bbx” file from the biblatex-mla folder you just unzipped into the “bbx” folder in ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex/biblatex/.
That should be it. The MLA files should be installed. Making the bibliography appear in your .tex document will be a different post.