Honestly, we’re so lucky. Doing research now, with all the incredible collections at our disposal, and a huge range of digital tools, is both a whole lot easier and a whole lot faster than ever before. And it helps you imagine past worlds in different ways.
I’m finalising Vigil, the final book in The Firewatcher Chronicles at present, and one of its motifs is the many layers of history in London.
And look. Here’s a website called Layers of London, which helps us see through the centuries – perfect for schools and readers of the books (and me, of course).
It lays digital map over map, decade after decade or century, and adds local collection items. Take a look here: Layers of London.
And another very smart website traces all the major Blitz bomb sites in London. Handy (Although I have to admit I did make some of the bomb sites in Brimstone up – buildings that were destroyed in a raid were sometimes hit directly or sometimes destroyed by fires started by bombs landing elsewhere, so it’s also a bit confusing trying to trace the history.)
Bombsight maps the official bomb site census for the Blitz months. Here’s the map for Christopher Larkham’s part of the world.
Fascinating stuff. Researchers (and readers of all ages) everywhere give thanks to inventive developers, libraries, museums, publishers and archives who create new ways for us to access and visualise information.