by Bryan Patrick Avery
Recently, I was asked what I use to conduct research for my non-fiction books like BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE. I thought I’d take a moment and share my three favorite resources.
Resource #1: Newspapers.com
Newspapers.com is, hands down, one of my favorite resources. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a website that provides access to more than 700 million pages from over 21,000 newspapers dating back to the 1700s. I’ve used newspapers.com to research my picture book, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH and to find articles about several of the subjects in BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE. If you’re looking for information on a subject for biography, or information in a moment in history, check out Newspapers.com.
Note: A subscription is required but my local library provides subscriptions for free to all library card members. Check to see if your library does the same.
Resource #2: Ancestry.com
IF you’ve ever done any genealogy research, you’re likely familiar with Ancestry.com, on of the leading genealogy research sites. The cool thing about Ancestry.com is that you can use it to research other people a well (within reason, of course). You can search census results, military records, birth and death certificates, and so on. I’ve used it to verify birth dates, spouses names, and even find family photographs of some of my subjects to get some context on their lives. If, like me, you enjoy research, Ancestry.com is an endless source of research opportunities.
Note: A subscription is required but, like Newspapers.com above, some libraries provide free access. Check with your local library.
Resource #3: Libraries
Speaking of your local library, libraries are one of my favorite sources of information when I’m doing research. I know, that seems pretty obvious. Look beyond your local library. Many libraries have collections on important figures, groups, or events. For example, I found a collection of Dr. Leonidas Berry’s papers and artifacts in the Chicago Public Library. These documents, which included letters from political leaders and fellow doctors documenting his contributions to the medical field. Check with libraries in the vicinity of your subject matter to see what information they can share.
Well, that’s all for this month. Happy writing, and have a magical month.
At the age of 7, Bryan Patrick Avery discovered a love of reading and mysteries after receiving his first Bobbsey Twins Mystery book. Today, he is an award-winning poet and author of more than a dozen books for children. His middle-grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, an anthology from HarperCollins and the Mystery Writers of America. His Jake Maddox JV Mysteries, OFF BASE and SOCCER SUSPICIONS were released earlier this year by Stone Arch Books. Bryan is the 2021 recipient of the SCBWI Work in Progress Award for his chapter book mystery THE ROBOT IN THE LIBRARY. He is also the author of THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE, and the chapter book series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS.
Bryan serves on the board of directors of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Northern California with his family.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break