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Did you know that — as we speak — MILLIONS of historical objects, newspapers, letters & photos are being digitalised by archives and museums worldwide? 


These items are accessible online. 

Unbeknownst to most people. 

Not shown by Google. 


Even seasoned historians or writers don’t know about the wealth that these new digital databases procure — it’s untapped knowledge. 


You already order books, read articles, visit museums, interview experts — so the next logical step is distilling the gold nuggets from all these *digital* databases: yes, online. 

I am a research geek 👓 and historical advisor; my name is Dr. Barbara Ellermeier. While conducting research for bestselling authors who publish with Random House, LittleBrown UK and Hachette Australia, I noticed this. 

Most writers would only read the same published sources again and again… They had no idea that myriads of digitalised original sources on their topics were available. All of these unpublished letters, photos and maps were accessible online — for free! Buried in databases they had never heard of. 

For Titus Müller, author at Random House Germany, I found the exact number of cows (24!) that his protagonist, the “snowflake man” Wilson Bentley, kept on his Vermont farm in 1880. 

For Dr. Leah Kaminsky, who won BEST BOOK AWARD 2019 in both Literary and Historical Fiction, I found 116 photos from the trip that her protagonist took while traveling Nepal in 1938/39.

For Natasha Lester, an Australian author who hit #14 of the New York Times Bestseller list in the US, I researched how a French seamstress’s work day looked like in Paris, and how the WW2 German invasion shattered their lives in 1940. 

I want you to have access to historical sources that you won’t find elsewhere. 

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s delve into a few examples.

Music: Which songs did a worker from Ireland sing in 1919? 
It’s so touching to hear this, because this song was sung by an Irishman over a 100 years ago, and we still can enjoy it today, right? #digitalisation 

👉 Click here to listen 🎶


Need to know how the streets of Paris looked like in 1899?  

Voilà, here's Notre-Dame Cathedral, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, the passing of a fire brigade, Tuileries Garden, the very modern "Moving Walkway" at the Paris Exposition and The Eiffel Tower from the Rives de la Seine à Paris.

Shot between 1896-1900, and via Guy Jones, all colorised and restored in its glory. 

Click "play" to start the film. 


Everyone must eat! So what could a person have for dinner in in 1348, in 1666, in 1850 or in 1933? 

Meal scenes appear in almost any novel or film; so I always provide recipes for my research clients. Let's choose the USA, for example. Here's a collection of 76 American cookbooks, digitalised by the Feeding America Project. 

It's never JUST about cooking! These books also contain information about how to be a good housewife; how to manage servants; how to cook for a large number of soldiers during the war; how the recipes of immigrants changed over the years; how to be frugal; how to lavishly entertain guests, and more

A glossary of culinary terms and images of old cooking utensils help you recreate your protagonists' kitchen, so that you, for instance, can write an authentic scene. 

Or prefer eating out? Choose from 17,545 menus here.

Collected in the NY Public Library, these menus mostly cover US American restaurants, hotels, dinners and dives.

However, you'll also find rare menus of ocean steamers and ships here, and a few European menus as well. 

The time span they cover? 1850s until 2000s. Narrow things down with the  timeline

So far, there's 426,755 unique dishes to choose from, all of them provided with date and setting. A treasure box of culinary treats! 🍲 

Need to know what a particular region looked like?

There's databases with drawings, maps, photos and even aerial photographs available online. For example, this archive of over 95,000 pieces of aerial photography of Britain, taken from the air between 1919 and 2006
including WW2.  


The region you want to research is really, really remote? 

But you need to know more about this particular region: what the houses looked like, what people wore, and how they would spend their days? 

There's a database you can peruse, right here. These photos and drawings were gathered from missionaries, nuns and priests. They relentlessly traveled even in the most remote areas (and colonies) of our planet. See if you can find your setting here


Costumes & clothing: Want to know how a person dressed? 

Did you know that there are local dress registers for Australia, for Germany, for France, Scotland, Medieval Europe, the Roman Empire, India, 1600s Arabia...?

In the past, I've even researched how locals dressed in Madagascar, rural Russia, Greenland or Samoa.

There's something special about browsing real, preserved items from the past. Something that people would use every single day, such as this database about shoes 👠 from many different centuries and locations. 


As you see: What we can access online, is not only text
In fact, there are many different types of digitalised historical sources at your fingertips… 






Sound recordings

Early film footage

Letters and diaries 

Maps and aerial views 

Scans of original objects 

Authentic conversations 

Etiquette and behaviour rules 

… and more 


I want you to delve into this untapped knowledge.

I want you to research and save time. I want you to find things faster, so that you can finish and submit your book/thesis much sooner. (And this new way of learning how to research will be much more affordable than my longer packages which start at 1500 Euros!) I want you to have better resources, so that you can create better results: Better books, better articles, better acting, better films. I want your stories to be brimming with authentic details from the past. 

That’s why I curate »Stop Browsing, Start Researching«, a digital training for everyone who's interested in researching the past

Every other week, you receive handpicked, historical resources via email — selected from 120+ databases that I assess every month. And you’ll also learn how to navigate them — in under 45 minutes. 👀 

Millions of historical items, texts and objects are digitalised every month. Receive a selection of the best to plunder — every other week in your inbox. Click the link below and subscribe. Why? Because it’s the quickest way to help you learn how to navigate these new online sources — and this will have a lifelong effect on how you search! You will have navigated a new, handpicked online resource and have found first dips of historical materials before the end of our 45 min walk-through. 

This very special research training = a handpicked database + a video walkthrough, every other week. 

Normally, a full year normally costs 198 Euros... ... but I am celebrating that the 🎇 150th research project is just finished! 🙌) this week... 

That's why I offer the *annual* subscription for only €119
(That's approximately 133 USD or 192 AUD).

All resources are curated by me, Dr. Barbara Ellermeier, a historical advisor who has conducted research for 150 biographies and historical novels. 


🎁 Or give this as a gift to someone else? Click here. 🎁


How does it work? 

✅ On a monthly basis, I assess 120+ databases with digitalised items from the past, browse long hours, speak to historians and librarians, read history newsletters, follow 50+ institutions on Twitter, subscribe to magazines, visit conferences — so that you don’t have to. 👓 

Then I send out 1-3 selected online resources: Delivered directly to subscribers via email — every other week. 

✅ Learn the process I honed while conducting research for 150 biographies & historical novels. 

Watch the video walk-through: See how I navigate this online database. Let me help you to delve deep, to search thoroughly — and fast. 

Join the challenge: Research along. Listen to my questions or read them. Then browse the database by yourself. Find historical details that you can use in your own project — and get results in under 45 mins. 🕕


✅ Actively steer where we’re heading: Submit *your* time and topic. Or vote for the next topics I should delve into. 

If it’s relevant, I’ll always link back to previous resource emails, so you’ll never miss anything important. 

No Facebook group? That’s on purpose! We want you to research + write! Not being sucked into watching cat videos. 

No archive with old challenges? No. Again, that’s on purpose. Have you ever logged into one of these vaults — and instantly felt suffocated when looking at some online graveyard of 731 old recordings?! Exactly. That’s why. Let’s improve our research skills: one email at a time. 

Photo: Manfred Riege 

Who is curating this? 

These history resources are curated by me, Dr. Barbara Ellermeier. I believe online research should be taught at school, because ‘how to beat internet overwhelm’ is something we urgently need to learn. Meanwhile, I wrangle the internet by using my special talents. 

👓 I have photographic memory. 

👓 I read really, really fast. A 700-page novel? I can read it in 8 hours. 

👓 I read over 300 books per year (that’s for pleasure, not for work) 📚 📖 📚

👓 Often, I can recite entire passages of letters or diaries long after a project has been submitted. 

👓 I was raised by a history nerd father & a savvy librarian (hi, Mama!). 

👓 My grandparents taught me how to decipher old, spidery handwriting by the age of 7. 

👓 At age 16, I was one of the first students to request ‘internet lessons’ at my school. A group of 20 teens waited in front of 1 (!) computer until we were allowed to type 1 (!) question into Altavista or Fireball (millennials, these were the search engines before Google was invented).  

👓 For each research project, I read at least 80 books. Often many, many more. 

👓 If I go into research ‘beast mode’, I can plough through 100-110 databases or websites per hour. 

👓 Filtering LOADS of information and finding a certain piece of it is my über special talent. 


I am a historian. Let me filter thousands of research results, so that you won’t have to. 


At two universities, I worked as a researcher. However, I left academia — after they repeatedly told me that “I wrote too gripping” and I should change my writing voice to sound “more neutral.” (Well, no.) Ever since then, I’ve tirelessly worked to bridge the gap between these two worlds: I believe academic writing should not be boring! And history for entertainment purposes, such as books and films could often use more accurate, more authentic details. I firmly believe both academics *and* non-academics can benefit from utilising these new, untapped digitalised history resources that are at our fingertips.  

As a historical advisor, I’ve researched for authors who write non-fiction and novels. Their books have been published with Random House USA, Random House Germany, Picador, AmazonCrossing, Hachette USA, Hachette Australia, Vintage Books Australia, Lübbe, adeo, bene, DroemerKnaur, Blanvalet, Blessing, Piper, Ullstein, Sourcebooks UK, Sphere UK and LittleBrown UK. Publishing expert Jane Friedman wrote about me: “If you write historical novels and need help finding the best resources, here’s your woman.” If you want me to unearth the best history databases, join us here >>

For whom is this a good fit? 

👉 You want to research the past.

👉 You’re interested in a person, an event or a setting from history — and it doesn’t matter which time, or which place in the world. (Just submit your topic via email, and we’ll delve into this in one of our next issues!) 


You are …

a writer who wants to write a book (history non-fiction, biography, historical novel, or else) 
a literary agent searching for a great author gift!  🎁 🎁 
… an actor who wants to research a new role  
… a historian 
... a PhD candidate 

… a student 
… a teacher 

… a local historian or member of a historical society who wants to research their town/region 


… in short, someone who loves history 🔍  

Or read along just for fun: Each email feels like a mini-trip into the past. Read it in under 10 minutes. Or you can research along, and find first dips of historical materials in under 45 mins. As time travel hasn’t been invented yet, browsing original sources from the past is as close as we can get, right? So let’s delve in. 

It’s not for …

People who hate the internet. 

People who are not interested in facts and stories from the past. 

People who are afraid of following 2-3 steps which are clearly shown in a video.  

People who just want to replicate what others have already written. 


Save time, learn how to research online + find new, fresh history resources instantly

Millions of historical items, texts and objects are digitalised every month. Receive a selection of the best to plunder — every other week in your inbox. Click the button below and get your subscription. Why? Because it’s the quickest way to help you learn how to navigate online sources, and this will have a lifelong effect on how you search. You will have navigated a new, handpicked online resource and have found first dips of historical materials before the end of our 45 min walk-through. 



The early bird price expires Jan 31th 👀


There's introductory pricing available before January 31, 2020. 

Pay just 119 Euros for 12 months of research resources emails + challenges! 

The regular price is 198 €, so you can save 80 Euros now. 

This is the quickest way to help you learn how to navigate digital history resources. 

So if you want to stop browsing, and start researching
and get RESULTS, the time is now. 

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photo of dr barbara | manfred riege
header image | glenn carstens-peters
footer image | danielle macInnes
all other images via creative commons