You Have An Investigation To Conduct, But Can Only Use The Library – Andrew Keith & Jennifer Mackovjak

There is a wealth of ignored and sometimes esoteric resources, almost all of which are available to investigators and sleuths. What gets you in used to be found in your very own pocket: your library card. A trove of information awaits an investigator at the library. These might be obscure journals, PhD dissertations, archived newspaper articles not available online or as part of a commercial subscription. You can also find at the library valuable criss-cross directories, which are like telephone books for addresses: you can locate who lived next to someone at an address you have. Sanborn maps are visual records of what was on a piece of property at a certain time that may help while researching a superfund case. Old yearbooks (Harvard annuals, especially) can offer an inquiring mind a rich and vast pool of names and other biographical information that might yield potential witnesses, or disclose other valuable relationships. The Library of Congress, the U.S.’s and the world’s largest library, can help you identify all sorts of information, including subject matter experts who have given congressional testimony. The Library of Congress also has catalogs and online collections of, among other things, old war photographs and genealogy records, because who knows when a stranger will reach out to your high net worth client pretending to be a long-lost blood relative looking to connect (or, looking for some money!).

Learning Objectives:

  • Research as usual doesn’t always solve your problems.
  • Research doesn’t always have to be expensive (and can be free).
  • Place your needs in time to identify the best resources.

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