How to Find Relevant Material - SANDRA SCHWAB | Historical Romance Author

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How to Find Relevant Material

Research > Researching the Past

Thanks to the internet, research has become easier than ever before: you can visit websites  of various libraries and museums worldwide; you can find collections of primary literature online (e.g. the Project  Gutenberg or Google Books); you can order books online; and  you can find an enormous amount of pictures and photographs online. So don't be afraid of the research! It's easier than it was ever before.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Bookstores / Online Bookstores

  • booksellers can order any book in print for you

  • to get foreign books you might also want to try out foreign online bookstores, e.g. the various branches of amazon

  • browse the non-fiction section of your local bookstore to find books that might come in handy for your future research (over the years I've assembled an odd collection of books, the subjects ranging from the history of parks and gardens in Europe, Scottish tartans, and the medieval warhorse to the history of erotic art, horsewhispering, and the anatomical waxes in the Museo La Specola in Florence)

Used Books Stores

  • apart from your local used bookstores, you could try e-bay auctions or abebooks


  • online catalogues

  • library inter-loan system: this enables you to get books from libraries in other cities or even in other countries

  • old newspapers and magazines often available on mircofilm/-fiche or in digital form

Websites / Online Discussion Groups

  • RWA's special interest chapters, e.g. the Beau Monde for writers of Regency romances

  • websites of museums or institutions
  • private websites (However, it's a good idea to double-check the information found on private websites!)

CDs and Handouts of past RWA Conferences

On-site Research

  • what a great excuse to travel to Britain!

Find a Specialist

  • people working at museums and specific associations are often willing to share their  knowledge

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