1. benfromcanada
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    benfromcanada Member

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    Research capabilities in the early 1940s?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by benfromcanada, Jul 3, 2011.

    Here's the scenario: a young man finds out about a man who died in the house he's currently living in. The year is 1942, it's in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He wants to learn more about the guy, specifically details surrounding his death.

    Was it common practice to keep copies of old newspapers in libraries back then, as it is now? Was that a widespread practice that was followed in that particular part of the world? Aside from newspaper archives in either the library or the paper's office, how else would he find this information? Would he need to be affiliated with a university or some such to be able to access this information?

    How would one even research how people researched almost 70 years ago?
     
  2. TedR
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    TedR New Member

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    Microfilms became popular in the 1930's, so you may be able to incorporate that, if the place the character conducts research at is large enough to have microfilm capabilities in place.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...yes...

    ...yes...

    ...public accessible records kept in city halls or state archives that could include a death certificate and possibly a post mortem report... police records...

    ...he might... depends on what he was wanting to look for...

    ...you could start with some creative googling... and mystery novels/movies written back then and/or set in that period would also have relevant info...
     
  4. Heidi
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    Heidi New Member

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    This is not horribly difficult to research. Talk to people in their 80s. They LIVED this. Particularly those who are involved in genealogy research. They know how to find stuff the old fashioned way. My grandparents have been doing research for years just by making phone calls, writing letters to request data from official sources, traveling across the nation to speak to those who might have known the person, finding gravestones, etc.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i was doing research for school in the late 40s... in the public library... other sources then were newspaper morgues and university libraries/collections, as well as city/town hall records...
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Not being familiar with either 1942 or Canada, I would suggest halls of records and councils as others have said. First step though would be to speak with the neighbours. Some of them may remember who lived there so many years ago.

    Councils here in New Zealand, have land registries, which means that if I go to my property file in my local council I can then find the names of all previous owners and when title passed. I assume this would have been the same for Canada in 1942.

    With a full name, you can then go to births, deaths and marriages, or whatever was the equivalent in Canada 1942, and start researching. Find a death certificate, and I would assume he was dead by then given the time period, and you can find a place of death. Place of death leads you to cemetaries, almost no one was cremated back then, and cemetaries give you headstones and of course the cemetary books. They in turn will give you next of kin, hopefully. Next of kin will hopefully give you people to talk to, i.e. rellies.

    Also, assuming he didn't die intestate or never needed a mortgage, he would have needed a lawyer for property conveyancing. This will be on the house title deeds, and also among the death certificate details. Some law practices may still exist, and may still hold records of their old clients.

    Hope that helps.
     

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