Since I'm writing historical fiction, I have to research the period and setting for my novel. I started by researching the traditional way: through books. I purchased about two dozen books and borrowed another couple dozen from the library. Then I jacked up my excitement for the project by traveling to Munich for a few days in October to research the setting in person. Since then, I found another (cheaper) way to research from home: ebay!
I bid on and won a Sears-Roebuck catalog from 1938. It gave me pictures of items that were in use at the time like dresses with puffy sleeves, console radios, and wringer washers. Great stuff. Just today, I won a German 1938 camera. Why a camera, you ask? Because I want to describe the camera Sophie uses, and having it in front of me is the best way I know to create an authentic description.
95 pages and counting.