Today we’re going to do something a little different here at Petticoats & Pistols. Since we all love (or love to hate) research, we thought we’d share some of our favorite research resources.
And you’re invited to share yours, too.
Tracy Garrett ~
One of my favorite research sites is the Texas State Historical Association’s The Handbook of Texas Online. It is an amazing source of all things Texas, from battles to state parks to famous figures to railroads to… You get the picture.
Another site I love to poke around on is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center website, www.bbhc.org. There’s a Firearms Glossary on their Research page that is great!
- My favorite site for historical cookbooks – Feeding America. They’ve scanned dozens of authentic 19th century cookbooks and allow you to search them by recipe name or ingredient. Fabulous!
Library of Congress site: American Memory. This is a great place to find authentic photographs and all kinds of US historical tidbits. My favorite piece, though,is the railroad maps. They have maps from various years during the 19th century that allow an author to see exactly where the railroads did and didn’t exist. I’ve used this in nearly every book I’ve written.
I have two favorites. My “I couldn’t write a western historical romance without this book” is Everyday Life in the 1800′s by Marc McCutcheon. It has everything from the names and colors of horses to food and drink, not to mention clothing of the era. I couldn’t do without that book as my major resource for 1800′s research.
The second can be labeled as research or just for fun. Have you ever wondered which word or phrase is more commonly used? Then go to http://googlefight.com. You can put in two words or two phrases and the little avatars have a fight and then will tell you how many times each can be found on the Internet. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are correct, just simply what is the more popularly used word. It’s fun!
I recently found a very interesting informative site that has all kinds of goodies on it from the price of food in the 1800′s to what the pioneer might’ve eaten for breakfast or supper. There’s also a couple of menus with prices from certain restaurants. The link is: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpioneer.html
My favorite research sites involve the hunt for character names. The best is the Social Security Administration. You can look up names by year (back to 1879) and popularity. I also like Behind The Name because it gives meanings and origins. Then there are the rosters for professional organizations. For cowboys and critters, I like the Professional Bull Riders (PBR).
How about you? When you have to—or get to—do research for your work in progress, what book or website do you rely on? Or if you aren’t writing a book, where do you go to find a favorite new recipe?