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Digging Deeper: Research Strategies for Creative Nonfiction

Sources and methods to help inform and verify the rich details and broader context necessary to craft a authentic and accurate creative nonfiction.

Community Resources

Digital Repositories /Collections

I recommend using advanced search and limiters for more effective searching. 

Localized Collections

Public Records

While public, these may not be digitized, available online, easy to access, or free. Some of these records will be available through aggregators like and (both paid subscriptions, although if you're lucky, your library may provide some access). Oftentimes, such records need to be requested from the agency holding the record. While some of these agencies have a web presence, you may need to call or travel to access such records. You may need to file a FOIA request if these are not your records.

Data Management

When finding resources, you will want to organize them so you can locate them again and credit the creators. You need a system that works for you—that is the most important criterion! Nowadays, that can be as complicated as an expensive writing software program or as simple as a dedicated physical notebook and some file folders.