How did you conduct your research relative to your historical setting?
Thanks Lamora Coons for this excellent question in the comment section of a previous post.
At the beginning I started with Don Norton’s family history research when Don was an English professor of mine at BYU. He had some information from genealogy, books, and newspaper clippings but most of the material was from firsthand accounts of the football players: audio interviews and transcriptions. Don had student research assistants compile the information. I went through boxes of information and pieced together whatever applied to this work.
Unfortunately, in the dozen years or so since then, most of the original research was lost. My original draft and my work as an employee in the Harold B. Lee library has helped me to target my research specifically to the items of importance to what I needed to recover. Fortunately I was able to find the key pieces of research through an autobiography by my Point of View character. I am grateful I chose his perspective to begin with.
I remember the fact that there was a lot of information from his perspective in the original research, which was one reason I chose him as the POV character, but in truth the main reason I chose him was because his mom was Mormon and his dad was Catholic and of anyone he seemed to be caught right in the middle of the main conflict.
Naturally I wanted to see the story unfold from his angle, of how the main character–the hero–changed his life. Luckily I was able to find even more tidbits of research in the microfilm of old newspapers that enlivened the story even more. I’m still working on finding pictures of old Tooele. It is proving to be a daunting task. The newspapers and digital archives don’t carry quality original pictures beyond the 1940’s and even 50’s in that area, only the stories (and that is limited, too). I live nearby Tooele so I have had the opportunity to visit the setting and go to the library and a railroad museum to get a better feel for the layout from a distant time.