Thursday, April 8, 2010

Help with Historical Research

I'm currently working on a middle grade novel set in a fictional New England town in the mid-1870's. As such, I am still looking for a few more reliable online resources about the time period: cooking, fashion, and agricultural methods.

I try never to click on sites I don't know. I downloaded one nasty virus that way and my laptop needed to be rebuilt last year. I'm not sure if the hubby has forgiven me for that one yet.

If you know of any reliable websites I could use for my research, I would greatly appreciate it.



V.R. Leavitt said...

Ah...history. Wikipedia can sometimes be helpful. I stress sometimes.

This site is good, I've checked it out for a few things:

If you're up for listening and or watching a lecture series, you might try The Teaching Company...they're not free, but the info I've gotten from their lecture series' is great!

V.R. Leavitt said...

To clarify...the info I've gotten from the historical New England site is in the 'resources' section.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Try University sites. Google several big universities, go to their sites, and you may find what you need. I located diaries and letters and lots of good stuff about the CW from universities.

Also, check museums in the area and your library for books on the time period.

K. L. Van der Veer said...

When I do similar research on medieval background, I generally start with the history section in a large bookstore like Borders. That way I can browse through different books and buy a good comprehensive one or just grab a few notes from some if I don't think I will use them much. Personnaly, I find that the level of effort required to get a book into a bookstore generally results in more reliable information than will be found on most websites.

That being said, I still use the web for supplemental research; however, I, too, am carful about the sites, both for security reasons and because there is simply a lot of wrong information posted on the internet. I'll often start with Wikipedia and then try to find other sources to back up what I get there.

If you do a lot of online research, there are antivirus/firewall packages that prescan sites that you google and rate their threat risk. Nothing is 100 percent certain, but that helps me feel a little better about surfing.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for all your help everyone. I greatly appreciate it.