Posted by: nancyisanders | January 14, 2020

Writer’s Journal: Research Trip


Over my 30+ year career as a writer, I’ve gone on 3 significant research trips. I’ve always referred to them as a “Photo Research Tour” because my mission was to take photographs of my book’s topic to eventually publish in the printed book.

America's Black Founders.png

The first book for which I embarked on a Photo Research Tour was AMERICA’S BLACK FOUNDERS. I traveled to Philadelphia, Mount Vernon, Monticello and more where I took lots of photographs at historic sites, museums, and churches to publish.

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My next book that I needed photographs for was FREDERICK DOUGLASS FOR KIDS. For this trip I walked in this great man’s footsteps as I visited Maryland to locate his birthplace, the plantation where he first worked, and various homes he lived in and places he worked after he escaped from slavery. Once again I got permission from a wide variety of historic sites, museums, and churches to take photographs to publish in my book.


It wasn’t until my most recent Photo Research Tour, however, that I had the idea to take along and create a writer’s journal during my trip. This time I headed to England to take photos for my newest title, JANE AUSTEN FOR KIDS. Creating this travel journal took the experience to an entirely new level!

In the upcoming series of posts here on my blog, I’ll share some of the joys I experienced and techniques I used creating this journal. I hope you’ll gain information and inspiration to learn how to create a writer’s journal on your next research trip, too!


  1. Nancy- could you share an example of what you use to get permission from sites? (i.e. a document that sign? an email ahead of time? verbal? ) Thank you so much for sharing your research tools!

    • Absolutely! I’ll explain this in my next post. Stay tuned!

  2. Can’t wait for the rest of this series of posts.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Jean!

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