the world’s best research tool

I went to the State Library of Victoria this morning to start my new summer writing regime. That is, I am actually researching the Regency, instead of just assuming other romance writers have it right.

It was super fun. I looked at a book of architectural drawings from the Regency – finally! A real idea of how rooms were laid out! I also looked at a design book with material swatches, lace designs, pottery etc.

But by far the most useful information I got was from the librarian, and this is it:

This website archives the whole internet – past and present. (The past-sites search engine is called The Wayback Machine. How cool is that!) It has all google books uploaded as well as a huge number on top of that and an open digital library.

Basically, anything that has ever been published and is now out of copyright can be found there.

Check it out.

And in the spirit of research, here’s the State Library in 1861:


About anna cowan

I look around, and here I am - housewife and aspiring romance novelist. This seems unexpected.
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2 Responses to the world’s best research tool

  1. cheryl nekvapil says:

    This is revolutionary stuff Annii. I increasingly look at my shelves of books and have a sense they are archaic, and excessively weighty. Last night in our study group a member was able to refer to the Bible and Rudolf Steiner archives, finding the quotes he wanted in seconds, all on a small electronic device that is about the size of a slim mobile phone. Information is immediate, and there.

    I thought of you when listening to a radio interview with a woman who was researching life styles in earlier times. One of the things she paid attention to was whether or not married couples or lovers shared a bed, or a bedroom — now that is a detail for a romance novel but is the information available even in cyber space??

    • that is some interesting detail for sure! 🙂 I think if someone’s written it, you would be able to find it in cyberspace. This is one of the things I’m amazed by with – a huge percentage of all the books that are out of copyright can be found there. So you could possibly even find an account from back then.

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