Wednesday, April 1, 2009

research question


For a brand new project, I need to find some reference on Austin from 1975. What is the best place to go for archive/ newsy stuff from then?

The Austin American Statesman has a very long list of obits from the time. I'm more interested in the behavior of the living.





  1. Sorry for the delay, Bill. I've been buried under fundraising and taxes, not necessarily in that order.

    Here'a really obvious thing to do: grab a list of the music and movies from that year and look at them pretty seriously. It'll give you a feel for what's going on in a pre-Star Wars world.

    Also, I'd cruise by the library and pull up the Austin Statesmen from that time period and read the local sections to see what's what. You don't really have to read all year; just look for high lights and set your story within one month of something cool or interesting happening in town.

    This is a gamble, but--was the Chronicle around then? What are the odds that they have a morgue? Probably slim, but maybe the library has one, too.

    It's real grunt research, I know, but that's a real immersive way to get it done. Also, you can print out relevent pages from the microfische. I had to do this for Blood & Thunder, and it was tedious, but really useful.

    Final thought: for pictures and other anecdotes, try the Austin Music museum. If your story involves bars, and it probably will, then you can pick up a lot of details from photos.

  2. Dudes. What happened to this blog? Did February crush your collective spirit?

    I'm just saying. Come back and entertain me.