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Research Tips

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    What is your best research tip?

    For me, I’ve found the best thing is to step away from the Internet and use libraries. Not only is the information more reliable, but I enjoy the research a lot more when gaining knowledge from a book as opposed to flipping aimlessly between web pages.

    I realize this is a lot harder if you don’t happen to live in a college town. I’m lucky to have Colorado State only a few mies away. Honestly, I don’t know how I would go about researching if the university wasn’t so close and easy to access.



    I found several books for research I needed to do as either Kindle books (I don’t have a Kindle but have a Kindle reader on both my PC and my iPad) or as audio books through Audible. As we moved to Malaysia in the middle of my research and book, I wasn’t able to bring tons of materials along with me–nor are there libraries here with what I need.

    I’ve listened to Audiobooks in the kitchen while cooking or clearing, etc, or in the bathtub–and like the ability to bookmark and comment on specific things to go back to.

    I often carry my iPad and if I go out for a coffee or stop somewhere for lunch, I get it out and do a bit of quick thinking and reading. Again, I can bookmark things to go back to.

    The Kindle books cost less than print volumes, I have an Audible subscription for those–and I’ll always have them without worrying about shipping them home someday.

    While this doesn’t work for everything, for background books it’s been ideal for me. Some books I’ve listened to several times just to go over and over the details of the war, which were at first very confusing to me.


    Barbara G.Tarn

    I live in Italy, where libraries don’t have that many English books! 😉 I used one in London during a trip, but most of my research is done online… through dedicates sites, such as Gallica (Bibliotèque Nationale Française from which you can download out of copyright texts.
    But then I specialize in Middle Ages, so most of the studies are free downloads! 🙂
    I just bought a Kindle, so I filled my PC with PDFs or TXT of things I wanted to read, and bought some dead tree books from Amazon or when traveling in English speaking countries…



    Cynthia–I’ve never thought of Kindle books! That is a fabulous idea. I don’t know why it never occurred to me!

    Barbara–I didn’t know about Gallica–I’ll have to check that out!


    Barbara G.Tarn

    The main sites I use for research…
    and if you need anything military, Osprey is the palace to go (although I found their books cheaper on Amazon than on their web page)



    Barbara–That is so helpful! Thank you–I’ve bookmarked them all!



    Barbara, what a great list! I also bookmarked them all.

    I have two sources I have used a lot (and couldn’t find the materials elsewhere) but they are not free.

    One is the (London) Times Online site, which has all of the issues of the London Times from 1785 to 1985 (scanned) and with a facility to convert stories via OCR though, given what the original fonts look like, it can be sortof silly. But to read the paper is fantastic and it’s great source material if you’re in that era in Britain.


    The other is Questia, which also charges a monthly fee also. They have over 77,000 books and a gazillion articles. I’ve found it invaluable and it’s saved me buying books. One can copy and paste text and it even creates references, build your own bookshelf, notes, and so on.



    Barbara G.Tarn

    you’re welcome… when one has no other resource than the internet (living in a non-English speaking country), one has to find stuff somehow! 🙂

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