Birthday Sale!

My birthday is in March, so all specialty lists in my Shop are 50% off. Choose from 12 different categories and get links to recent academic journal articles about that topic. Whether you are interested in historical fashion or food or crime (or 9 other topics), there is something for everyone.

Use code: birthday

Themes, Menus, and New Specialty Lists

The September 15, 1907, Sunday dinner at the Mitchell Hotel in Boise, Idaho. From the Idaho Statesman, September 15, 1907, pp 2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Academic journals are usually built around a main theme into which all their articles fit. Like historians, journals specialize.

A journal’s theme may be a time period (Victorian Studies), a geographical region (BMGN: Low Countries Historical Review), or a specific subject (Medical History: An International Journal for the History of Medicine and Related Sciences).

A journal may even combine more than one of those specifics, like region and subject (Asian Medicine), or time period and region (Twentieth Century British History). I have 900 journals in the database that I use to create my lists of article links, so you can imagine the combinations and levels of specificity.

Sometimes a journal will get even more specific and publish a special issue about a theme within the theme of the journal. Just to give you an idea, here’s a list of just a few of the special thematic issues that were included in the last four of my weekly subscription lists.

Centaurus: An International Journal of the History of Science and its
Cultural Aspects 61:1-2 (2019) Fun and Fear: The banalization of nuclear technologies through display
Information & Culture: A Journal of History 55:1 (2020) A History of Women in British Telecommunications
Early Science and Medicine 24:5-6 (2019) Pseudo-Paracelsus: Forgery and Early Modern Alchemy, Medicine and Natural Philosophy
Food and History 16:2 (2018) Food and Art in the Nineteenth Century
Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 32:1 (2020) Cities and Citizenship after Rome
Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 17:1 (2020) African-heritage partner dances: Creolizing connection, transnational movement

What would your dream thematic journal issue be about?

Digital Research Resource

One of the things that gives life to a story, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, is detail about where and when and what people eat. For those of you writing about the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, the New York Public Library has the digitized collection you need.

Right at your fingertips are menus from restaurants and special events. Learn about food, drink, prices, politics, advertising, and design. Careful, though, as you might not be able to tear yourself away for hours.

If you don’t want to dive straight in, here are links to a couple of articles that explain the collection and include samples of the digital menus.

“The New York Public Library’s digital menu collection is filled with classic foods like stuffed pigeon and calf brain soup” by Caitlin Harper.

“The New York Public Library Menu Collection” by Rebecca Federman.

New Specialty Lists

I’ve recently posted five new specialty lists for Februar in my Shop. Each list is a compilation of links to 15 academic journal articles related to the specialty topic, available for only $2.99.

Use the titles and articles to find inspiration and maybe that historical tidbit that brings your story to life.

An Article About Younger Sons and a Criminal Court Database

One of the benefits of running a business that compiles historical research is that I see articles that I would never think to search for, and therefore would have missed.

The December 2019 (volume 62, issue 4) issue of The Historical Journal from Cambridge University Press includes this open access article, “Male Anxiety Among Younger Sons of the English Landed Gentry, 1799-1900” by Henry French and Mark Rothery. To access the full article from my link, simply choose the button to View HTML or the button to download PDF.

The authors use family correspondence to explore the anxiety of younger sons, and their parents and guardians, trying to find their way within a system that privileged only the eldest son. It is an interesting, though sometimes depressing, read.

To make the most of this and other articles, download your copy of my free ebook sharing the benefits of using these peer-reviewed academic journal articles for your research.

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Digital Research Resource

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London’s Central Criminal Court, was a periodical published for a commercial audience. These were published accounts of the trials that were held at the Old Bailey. They were not actual transcripts, but rather summaries with the boring parts removed.

The content of Proceedings from 1674-1913 are available and searchable online. This is 239 years of an amazing primary resource. Reading through the articles will tell you not only about the crimes but will also give you an idea of changes in the language people used, occupations, the practice of law, and the practice of medicine. They also included advertisements – a glimpse into what was being sold at any specific time, but also what products and services were targeted to the audience of the Proceedings.

This entire site is a gold mine for anyone writing about history during that period.

I recommend this resource to find inspiration for new ideas or to flesh out your plot with interesting details. Ok, you’re human, you might also just want to search it for the more sensational bits. Either way, have fun!

New Specialty Lists This Week

I’ve recently posted three new specialty lists in my Shop for Disease, Slavery and Abolition, and Medicine and Health. Each list is a compilation of links to 15 academic journal articles related to the specialty topic, available for only $2.99.

You can find inspiration, background information, or maybe even that historical tidbit that brings your story to life.

Historical Research Updates

Historical Research Updates

Hello, and welcome to Historical Research Update!

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life and understand the value of a well-researched and well-written story in any form. Growing up on military bases, I started looking forward to moving to a new place the moment I had read everything interesting in the base library. Just imagine a pre-teen begging the librarian for more gothic novels.

A life-long reading habit means that I have a great appreciation for writers of history, fiction and non-fiction. One of the most useful things I learned while earning my master’s degree in history was the value of peer-reviewed academic journals. I’ve since learned that they are an underutilized source for historical research among writers.

The thing is, some writers don’t know about them, there are tons of them, and they publish on a variety of schedules, making it difficult to track them and stay updated.

So let me help you out.

If you are a hard-core history enthusiast and like to dive right in, I offer a subscription service to deliver to your email a weekly list of approximately 200 links to peer-reviewed academic articles on a wide variety of eras, regions, and topics. I scour over 900 journals so you don’t have to.

If you’re the type who likes to test the waters first, I also offer The Weekly 10: Random Articles That Piqued My Interest. Each week, as I compile the subscription list, I pull the links to 10 articles that look especially interesting and offer those for a lower price, available without a subscription.

If you’re only interested in a specific topic, I also pull links to articles that fit into 12 different categories and offer those for a lower price without a subscription, available as soon as I compile 15 articles on that topic. Check out the Shop to see which categories most interest you.

If you want to know more about using academic journal articles to help with your research, click in the box to get my free ebook, Write History with Confidence: Use Academic Journals to Get Your Facts Straight.

If you love to browse, my lists are a great way to find inspiration and possibly take your plotting or characters in new directions.

Grab my free ebook and dive in!


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