The final piece in my series on historical research (most particularly for fiction writers) is about researching Russia–or, more generally, challenging research, where there are language and documentation barriers that make it difficult to get a good fix on the time and place you’ve chosen for your setting. I’ll be talking about my own method of dealing with this challenge, before listing tips for how to tackle the subject yourself.
My Own Method
I should first say that the core part of my method in researching Russia for my novel isn’t something that most people could realistically undertake in this instance: I was lucky enough to be at a point in my life where I could enroll in a university with a reputable history department, and then I took classes in Russian History and grilled several of my profs, during their office hours, on additional sources I could look up to further my particular research needs. This is something I couldn’t do at this stage of my life–it was just the right place and time when I did it a couple of years ago.