Last time we talked a little about doing general searches. These sorts of searches are good for gaining a better understanding of basic topics. But what if you need really specific information? Much of my research is limited to historical artifacts, recipes, metal working and glass working, and gardening. Nothing like a little variety.
Each topic will have “specialty websites” that do a good job on that topic. For historical artifacts I have a favorite collection of museums with good online searchable databases.
Freer/Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian (Asian Art – which includes portions of the Middle East)
And then there is a database in England for all of the metal detector and occasional finds – The Portable Antiquities Scheme.
When I am looking for special recipes my first stop is usually the Food network. I have a particular affinity for recipes by Alton Brown, but since I am familiar with many of the personalities on the food network I also have a sense for who else I might to search for.
I get the newsletter from Cooking.com, but to be honest I probably save about one out of 100 recipes, at the most. If you enjoy making things using pre-made biscuits and such this may be a great choice for you. I am generally looking for “from scratch” recipes, partially because of food sensitivities.
Don’t forget Pinterest when you are looking for recipes! I mentioned it last time, but I should reemphasize that a HUGE number of people trade and share recipes on this site. I was able to find some very specialized Indonesian/Dutch recipes there that I simply could not find anywhere else.
Another one of my favorite areas of research is metalworking. Generally I will go to a reference book for most of this information, but every once in a while I need something new. One of my suppliers, Rio Grande Jewelry Supply has a considerable number of basic charts of information on their website. Rio also has a You tube Channel with all sorts of how-to videos. Another source for all sorts of jewelry information is Ganoksin.com You can search this website for almost every topic from workbench safety to enameling and soldering.
Glass working is another one of my favorite research areas. The best glass museum that I have found is the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning NY. In addition to the actual museum database, which they are constantly working to improve, the museum is also a working glass studio with all sorts of glass topics. There are videos and live streaming opportunities available.
Gardening is a very broad topic, but for serious scientific articles on pest control, or plant pathology I go to the U.C. Davis Integrated Pest Management site, or the U.C. Davis publications and videos site. This site sells books, several of which I own, but they also have LOTS of free publications that you can download.
I hope this brief discussion of good websites is helpful. If you are interested in specific areas of research, please drop me a note and I will be glad to share any information that I have in a future blog.