#TBT: Using Podcasts in Historical Research

September 17, 2015

I recently told my husband that I was having an affair, and not with one, but two different guys.

The Bowery BoysThey call themselves the Bowery Boys, and they like to talk about the history of New York City on a regular basis.  Like every week when I download their latest podcast to my iPhone.

I stumbled upon the Bowery Boys when a fellow historical author friend, Jonathan Newell, recommended their blog when I told him about my new pet project involving 1880s New York City.  The boys meticulously research each episode of the podcast, reading from primary sources, suggesting further reading for research purposes, and even telling you where to go in present day NYC to see the area about which they are speaking.

It’s important to think outside the historical research box.  I had no idea where to start my research on a part of history that until now I had only studied in school.  I wouldn’t have thought to look for a podcast, but the benefit here is that I can listen to the podcast while doing other things.  That means I get ideas of where to dig deeper in my historical research without investing a lot of time on dead ends.

So when beginning your historical research, find the folks who have already done the hard work for you and take it from there.

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