What other researching tools are available for the treasure hunter?
Local Bookstore. Start with treasure books on the type of treasures you want to find. Our MERCANTILE has many titles from well known treasure hunters giving thousands of clues to treasures. Keep checking back as more titles are added frequently.
Read all you can, taking detailed notes, on the who's, what's, when's, where's, etc., of any of the treasures located, or thought to be located, in the general area of the treasure you desire. Many times, stories are told and retold so many times, that clues are added to embellish a story, or other clues are inadvertently omitted. Some regions have stories that are similar, as clues from one story "bleed" over into other stories. Fact for one story becomes fiction for another. One of your jobs is to sort out fact from fiction.
When considering the types of books to read for clues, consider historical texts, non-fiction, biographies, and reference books. Stay away from "historical novels" as the writer usually has taken considerable literary license to "fill in the blanks" and it's hard or impossible to tell fact from fiction.
Library. Libraries can be a source of just about any book you can find in the book store, without the cost of having to buy it. But, when you want that book as a ready source to confirm data, it's inconvenient to rush down to the library. It's a good idea to buy those books that provide large amounts of clues for many different treasures, and keep the specific topic titles in the library, unless of course you need that book in the field.
Larger libraries will have a microfiche system for old newspapers and periodicals (magazine and other publications). Huge amounts of information can be extracted from these "fiches." It does take a lot of searching, however, as very often there will not be a good index on "treasures." What you want to do is concentrate on newspapers and periodicals from the time period of the first accounting of the treasure and the newspapers and periodicals from the same area. This may only be possible in larger libraries of the same area. You probably are not going to find a newspaper on microfiche in Florida for a stage coach holdup in Montana, but you probably would in Montana.
Historical Collections. Historical collections of Historical Societies and private parties may hold valuable information about the exact treasure you seek. These collections may be located in libraries, but also can be found in local museums or specific Historical Foundations.
Newspaper. Check out the local newspaper offices of the general areas you want to search for their "dead files" in the "morgue." The morgue is a place they store copies of every newspaper they printed. You may be lucky enough to find that these editions have been microfich'd, but not always, especially with smaller newspapers.
Maps. Good maps are a must for the treasure hunter. You may be the luckiest person in the world and possess the one and only, authentic map drawn by the burier of the treasure, but it's more likely your not. But, maps of the area give you many advantages.
Old maps of the time period in question (many of which can be found in libraries, museums, historical societies, and current historical map atlases) show what the area was like at the time the treasure was lost. New maps tell what it is like today. A comparison of the two can can literally be a "road map" to treasure.
Maps are also needed to safely get in and out of rugged areas. The Delorme Gazetteer series is an excellent, cost effective way to get detailed road, trail, and topographical maps of any state. Every treasure hunter would be wise to get a copy in his vehicle.
The US Geological Survey produces the 7.5 minute series of maps covering the entire United States. These maps are more detailed than the Delorme series, but to cover the same area, you would need hundreds to thousands of individual map sheets, and at $4.00 a sheet, the cost is prohibitive. I suggest getting the Delorme Gazetteer for the state, and only those USGS topographical map sheets for the specific search area. Other useful maps are forest service maps and METZKER maps (another commercially made map series). A very useful online source of topographical maps is mytopo.com.
This website covers literally the entire United States, and you can (for example) look at one of our treasure stories in our RESEARCH area, click on the associated map, customize that map, and purchase that map for immediate download.
Aerial Photographs can show the location of old roads and settlements not currently shown on maps or very evident of the ground. Satellite photographs can also show ancient river beds or floods not visible form the ground. Look for these in published books, libraries, and from the state and federal geologic agencies. There is also an online serve for satellite photographs. www.terraserver.com
Old surveys, claim documents, assays, reports, and other information produced by government officials and agencies can be a good source of clues to the existence and whereabouts of lost treasures. Look for these in state and federal archives, and in the dead files area of the particular branch of government.
Local residents of the region can give tremendous amounts of useful information not available in other sources. In addition, they can confirm or deny much of the information in books, newspapers, etc. Be careful, though. Some people's stories are modified over the years, intentionally or not, to fill in blanks, make the truth sound better, lend a sense of authority to themselves, or maybe they heard the story and then report it as fact. In any case, always try to confirm information through other sources.
Local Folklore and legends, including Indian Legends, can be a good source of information. In and of itself it may not be the best source, but confirmation of facts and evidence from other sources will help in confirming what legends, or parts of legends, are fact.
County Recorders Office. The County Recorders of all counties are responsible to maintain accurate records of ownership of lands within their respective counties. Also, many counties maintain records of claims and mines. All of these are public records that you can search.
As you can see, there is more information sources out there than you probably realized. Depending on your quest, some will be more useful than others. But, once you start, you'll find more and more links between bits of information gathered from these various sources.
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