Finding The Past
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Finding The Past

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Research in the Internet Age

Research in the Internet Age

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  • 1. Finding The Past
    Research in
    the Internet Age
    James D. Best
    Author of
    Tempest at Dawn, The Shopkeeper, Leadville,
    The Shut Mouth Society, Murder at Thumb Butte & The Digital Organization
  • 2. Research in the Internet Age
    A wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.
    Does it help or harm?
  • 3. A Little Background
    • Started writing fiction in 1998
    • 4. Previously wrote non-fiction
    • 5. The Digital Organization
    • 6. Magazine columns
    • 7. Journal articles
    • 8. First novel written Tempest at Dawn
    • 9. Last novel published Tempest at Dawn
  • Historical Novels
    Working on a non-fiction book on the Founding Principles
  • 10. Dramatizing The Founding
    Tempest at Dawn
    • Twelve year project
    • 11. Novelization of Constitutional Convention
    • 12. Inside Chamber—True to Madison’s notes
    • 13. Outside Chamber—many events historical or based on circumstantial evidence
    • 14. Accurate character presentation
    • 15. Alternating Points of View
  • Researching Tempest at Dawn
    The Old Fashioned Way
    • Turn of the century
    • 16. Read well over 100 books
    • 17. Constitutional Convention
    • 18. Biographies
    • 19. Lifestyle & Philadelphia
    • 20. Marked up books, then transcribed
    • 21. Built elaborate timeline
  • Researching Tempest at Dawn
    Stuff From The Internet
    • Downloaded source documents
    • 22. Madison’s notes
    • 23. Drafts of constitution
    • 24. Federalist Papers, Anti Federalist Papers
    • 25. Locke and others
    • 26. No fact checking on the Internet
    • 27. Used Computer-based
    • 28. Encyclopedia
    • 29. Thesaurus
    • 30. Dictionary
  • Finding the Past
    Working in the Twenty-First Century
    • Historical Novels
    • 31. Non-Fiction
    • 32. Blog Contributor
    • 33. What Would the Founders Think?
  • Finding the Past
    Cornucopia or Avalanche?
    • Source for Facts — Hit & Miss
    • 34. Do I Trust the Source?
    • 35. Multiple Sites Not Meaningful
    • 36. Fact Checking — Good
    • 37. Good Source for Names & Dates
    • 38. Great for Finding Reliable Primary Source
    • 39. Great for Coverage of Recent Past
    The Internet is the world's largest library.  It's just that all the books are on the floor.”
    John Allen Paulos
  • 40. Finding the Past
    Wikipedia
    Gouverneur Morris had one leg. He lost it in a carriage accident, but told everyone he lost it jumping from a lady’s balcony. Wikipedia had it backwards.
  • 41. Finding the Past
    My Work Habits Today
  • Examples of Internet Research
    Needed a Major Plot Element
    Problem: a technology with huge potential in mining.
    • Year: 1880
    • 52. Considered: lumber, security, transport, tools, supplies, lodging, entertainment, etc.
    • 53. 4-5 Hours on Internet to find solution
    “We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. ” Robert Wilensky
  • 54. Examples of Internet Research
    Thomas Edison demonstrated the light bulb in October 1879
  • 55. Examples of Internet Research
    Historical Color and Detail
    • Prescott in 1880
    • 56. A.T. Cross stylographic pen & propel-repel mechanical pencil
    • 57. Lees Ferry
    • 58. Major John Wesley Powell’s journal
    • 59. Morris Goldwater & Goldwater Store
    • 60. Wickenburg
    • 61. Steamer Trunks—Saratoga
  • Examples of Internet Research
    Fact Checking—in Mere Minutes
    • Presidential appointment of Frémont
    • 62. Courthouse in 1880
    • 63. Publication date for Roughing It by Mark Twain
    • 64. Value of Double Eagle
    • 65. Passenger list for Mayflower
    • 66. Correct name for game of jacks—jackstones
    • 67. Name of Prescott newspaper in 1880
    • 68. William Page, NYC artist in 1860s
    • 69. Owner of Palace Saloon in Prescott
    Could not verify Dr. Holliday & Virgil Earp in Prescott Spring of 1880
    Could not find physical description of Virgil Earp
  • 70. Finding the Past
    The greatest research tool invented in last few years in not part of the Internet.
    “Information on the Internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar.” George Lundberg
  • 71. Finding the Past
    eBook readers
    Archive newspaper articles
    Search
    Highlight
    Comments
    Email drafts to coauthors
    Public domain books cheap
    Best of all: I don’t have to get out of my chair
  • 72. Finding the Past
    “The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” Jon Stewart
  • 73. Thank You