I’ve been contacted recently by several people embarking on their own writing projects, many of them involving historical research. I love it – the detective work, the chase – but it can be tricky, even after having ethical considerations and methodologies pounded into me for my degrees in history. Being part terrier helps, but for the rest of it, here are few resources I recommend:
1. The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth. A great place to start if you’re new to research, or want a refresher.
2. The Joy of Writing by Pierre Berton. This memoir/how-to book by one of Canada’s most popular historical writers is sure to give you the inside story on tips and pitfalls, as well as inspiration to keep going.
3. The Voice of the Past by Paul Thompson. If you’re doing interviews or oral histories, this could be useful.
These are great for the beginner, novice, or professional and won’t bog you down with too much technical jargon or theory. If you’re looking for more info on delving into research issues (evaluating sources, working with First Nations communities, etc), though, feel free to contact me.
In the meantime, back to my piles of books on the histories of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, sovereignty, aviation, and the like! Gotta love it!