Here’s a post from Janet Reid that caught my eye:
One of the panels I attended was about AskHistorians.com.
I’d never heard of it before (probably because I was busy lollygagging in the bar) but the description sounded interesting. It’s a place anyone can ask questions about things in history.
Some caveats: it’s not the substitute for research you can do on your own.
A question like “When did Germany invade Poland?” isn’t going to survive moderation.
But a more nuanced question like “I’m a young woman in Mongolia in 1066. What are my chances of being kidnapped by a rival tribe and married off to a total stranger?” is what they’re looking for.
Well, now, that certainly sounds like a worthwhile resource! If you’re writing historicals, or something historical-flavored like “One Night in Boukos,” or a secondary world that you want to have depth — in all those cases, I can absolutely see a writer wanting to ask, “So, I’m a boy born to a Christian household in the Balkans in the 15th Century. How likely is it that I’d be taken off by the Ottomans to be a Janissary?”
I, of course, would call my brother and ask him that kind question. But for those of you who don’t have a relative or close friend who happens to be able to answer stuff like that, here you go: Ask a Historian.