The Time Travel Machine on My Desk

Research is addicting. Let me be more specific: historical research is addicting. I count myself among historical fiction writers who say that the research can prove more fun than the writing.

And since I write historical fiction set in Texas these days, this month I’m sharing one of my favorite new-to-me resources: The Portal to Texas History.

Created by the University of North Texas, this free, online resource boasts “569,484 unique items, comprising 5.8 million files,” according to the site. That’s a whole lotta Texas.

So, what can you do with the Portal? If you have a connection to almost any place in Texas, you’ll find something here. For instance, I graduated from Hardin-Simmons University. And since I’m writing about the 1940s, I found their collection and clicked on the 1940s link. I found this great picture of students loaded up in a Model A.

HSU 1940s picOr, maybe you want to flip through the pages of a newspaper from a town that’s personal to you. The Portal holds scores of scanned newspaper archives. In the Cass County Sun collection, I found editions of the charming, longtime column that my relative Juanita Anderson wrote about the goings-on of the Center Grove community, where many of my ancestors settled in Texas.

Cass County Juanita AndersonI could go on and on about the possibilities, but then I’d cut into time to do research. =)

What about you? What historical topics/times pique your curiosity?