Even for draft one of the western, known as The Women That Don’t Fit In, the Texas General Land Office was a huge help. Railroad maps were the best and most period-specific, but even later maps showed me the evolution of a city. Like the Nevada Digital Library, it is slooooow.
“West of Here” by Jonathan Evison is an epic story that switches between the settlement of a small town in western Washington state and it’s current-day travails. The novel alternates between the two time zones until developments near the end bring the two settings together in unexpected ways....
Friend eLibrary has a tiny little listing called California Missions (2004). The mission features oh so minorly in Filaments, and yet has been the easiest thing to find information on. Sketches of the mission building and floor plan accompany a brief history, timeline, and statistics. This can be cross-referenced with the Wikipedia maze. Check out Mission San Francisco de Asis.
-C. E. Case
For Filaments the Western I’ve been working my way through eLibrary. eLibrary bills itself as a primary source collective, but my best success has been through the History Society journal archives. I like Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Justice [as an Afterthought] by Ellen Baumler (August 2008) is a fascinating look at how female criminals were treated and imprisoned in the late 1880s. Not exactly relevant to Filaments, but I have been studying the Texas prison system to know what my black- and grey-hatted characters are up against. And I always like reading about fallen women.
Filaments the Western research this week celebrates a wonderful, if SLOW, digital collection from UNLV. Menus: The Art of Dining. Prowling hotel and café menus from the 1880s has caused me to rethink how I present food options. Lots of meat? Yes. Perfect for my cow town angle. But a wider selection of food than I thought, and “relishes” fascinate me.
Did I mention sloooooooow? Here’s one with a wine list. Tomato soup was ubiquitous. Ugh.
What I should be reading this week is Otalia fan fiction. I’m losing touch with the new stuff, I haven’t finished