Sunday, July 22, 2012

History's Mysteries

Photo by the Author of this blog.
Finding historical facts for writing projects can be a bit of a challenge. Events, people, language and social customs? Well, those are easy, relatively speaking. Anyone who has done research for historical novels or non-fiction books knows how challenging it can be to gather information about events, people, language and customs of various regions. If you think that's bad, try finding specific information on places - like getting you hands on road maps from a specific year.

I've found myself in need of very specific information about a couple of places - part of it involving which roads existed a certain year and which ones didn't, which ones were in common use and which weren't. This may seem like something I could gloss over. However, facts is facts, even in fiction.

The information I need is recent enough in history you'd suspect it would be easy to find out the facts from those who lived during that time, yet it's far enough in the past people's memories aren't clear.

Thus enters document sources - historical societies, libraries, city halls, and other such places. Responses are pending from some of the ones I've contacted so far. We'll see if that nets me the information I need. Hope, hope....

So far, based on the one response I've gotten from one of the historical societies, I know for sure I'll have to do some on-the-ground leg work and visit a research library since the information I'm seeking doesn't appear to be available in electronic form.

Which means edits to fill in some of those details will have to wait until I can make a trip there. Oh, well. That book isn't ready for publication yet, so it's all good.

What about you? What kind(s) of historical information have you needed to research that's proven especially challenging to track down?

No comments:

Post a Comment