This site is an online reference for re-creational medievalism, which involves making a sincere effort to reproduce the lifestyle of a race or region of the distant past. I am interested in researching and re-enacting life as a member of the Fifth Century (AD/CE) Irish Celtic nobility. If you found this page without checking my index page first, you will find more information there. Individual sections of this site may be linked to or reproduced for non-commercial purposes (including SCA events and publications), as long as proper attribution is included.

Celtic Research Resources

Finding information about this hobby can be accomplished a variety of ways. While having access to a University library is invaluable (there are separate "systems" for University and Public libraries in America), most books can be requested through your public library as well. Make friends with the Reference librarians, and you will be able to get a great deal of help!

The way to get access to books not available in your library is through "Inter-Library Loan". A request for a specific book will travel from the local branch of your library through various levels of the Public library system all the way to the State libraries if necessary. Librarians in my local Public Library said I would be able to make out-of-State requests as well, but, that would be a more difficult process and might involve a fee to request books. New York State has one of the best Public library systems in the country, so, I doubt that will ever come up. However, it is a reassuring option should I ever have a need of it!

Once the book arrives in your library, you will be contacted, and you will (usually) be able to check it out just like any other book. You can then photocopy or otherwise collect the information you need out of the book. A quick note: it may be very tempting to "liberate" book(s) that you have requested (by liberate, I mean keep it and tell the librarians that you lost it). You shouldn't do this for several reasons. First, if *you're* interested in the highly obscure methods of clipping longhaired goats in the Himalayan mountains during the 9th century, odds are so is someone else, and they should be given the same chance to access it that you were. Second, if you keep books, it makes it more difficult for your library to request others. Last of all, if you keep too many, you'll have your library privileges suspended. A photocopier is always a better option if you HAVE to have a reference copy of what you read. A flatbed scanner and printer combination will work also. Only copy the pages you actually NEED (not the whole of each book). If the book is still in print, ethics (and the law) encourage (require) you to buy it.

Echna's School of Research

All disclaimers and basic suggestions aside, here is how *I've* become a rather successful amateur historical researcher. Hopefully, you can benefit from this system as well.