Monday, March 28, 2011

March 2011 Resource Round-Up For Historical Research

It's time for our monthly resource round-up post. Today the list focuses on several sites that I've found very helpful and informative for conducting historical research.

But first a link that talks about how to write a great query letter from best selling author and agent Noah Lukeman.

Create your own calendar for your storyline, or just pull up a historical calendar to see what was happening during certain days of your characters' lives.

A timeline of U.S. history can be found here: . And a food timeline here:

Need to know if a phrase you want to use was common, or even around, during your story's time? This is a great site on the origin of phrases: and another on the etymology of words and phrases:

Having trouble deciding what your characters should be wearing? Check out this book: What People Wore When  or this website:

A couple of great resources when you need to know about old tools or furniture: and

American Heritage is a very neat site. I've linked to an article about the Oregon Trail, but there is a wealth of information on the site:

David Rumsey probably has the most extensive historical map collection available on the internet: Find maps for just about any place and time you may be writing about.

Here I'm including a list of several places you might go to research modern day books and the publishing industry: , Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and Copyright Records

Lastly, with the rapid growth of ebooks, I found this invention of a way to autograph an ebook quite ingenious. . And another link about it here:

Okay, that's a lot of links to click through, I know. But hopefully you will find something that's of use to you. If you have any other sites that have been helpful to you in your historical research, please feel free to link to them in the comments.

Have a great week, everyone!
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  1. These are absolutely fabulous, Lynnette! I just added a bunch of new bookmarks to my folders. Thanks so much.

  2. Thank you so much for these links. I was having trouble finding the information I needed before I found your post. Woo Hoo!
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  3. Glad you found some goodies, Katie.

    Raquel, glad the links helped you find what you needed!

  4. These are terrific, Lynnette. Historical fiction writers should feel much less intimidated by having these resources. Personally, I wish I'd had the links when writing history resources for kids. I suppose I could always write another book...

    The autography is very cool.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Awesome links! :) Your treasures will be saved in my Bookmarks folder.

  6. Carol, we do have research so much more easily available to us now, don't we?

    Nona, super! Glad you found some treasures. :)

  7. Excellent resources. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Another great resource for checking on the historical usage of words and phrases is Google Books. Use the date settings to restrict the time period of your search, search for a specific word or phrase, and you can see not only whether those words were used in published works from that period, but examples of how and by whom they were used.

  9. Carla, glad you found some useful information. :)

    Matthew, great idea! Thanks for the tip.