I am in Madison WI on the campus of the university which also ‘houses’ Wisconsin’s State Historical Society Library. This is a little gem of a research center located in a historic building in the middle of the campus. The exterior of the building is impressive–the entrance lined with fat Greek columns. Once inside you climb the marble steps to the library’s research and reading room, and the steps actually dip from the thousands of people who have climbed those stairs through the decades. The reading room is old school and the stacks are even more so. I make this trek to Madison annually and the library is always a stop for me. Through the roller coaster that has been my writing career this place has offered inspiration and solace. It has also never failed to offer just the exact research material I might need for a book in progress or a new idea I’m researching.
Through the years I have discovered many resources for researching my stories–museum collections, small libraries in small towns, the new standbys: Google and Bing–but I admit to having a special place in my heart and mind for this particular library. I would love to hear from others–writers, readers, historians–and be introduced to the research gems you may have discovered through the years.