Research Services for Writers of Fantasy and Historical Novels

You can do a lot on your own.

Imagine what you could do with Ph.D in Classics (one with a historical focus), access to specialist libraries — like the Library of Trinity College Dublin, the National Library of Ireland, and the Library of the Royal Irish Academy — and access to collections like the Irish National Archives….

That’s what you get when you hire me. I have the Ph.D, the historical focus, and the specialist library access.

If you want a particular historical period or topic researched, I can:

  • provide an overview of the period or topic, with a list of suggested further reading (€20.00 per hour);
  • assess the usefulness and accuracy of secondary sources in English and French (€25.00 per hour);
  • provide copies of the most useful articles and/or book chapters, with highlighted annotations (€25.00 per hour plus expenses if hardcopy is required);
  • undertake specific commissions of research related to archival material held in Ireland (€30.00 per hour).

Or any combination of these things and more, for negotiable rates. Please contact me at bourkeen@gmail.com to discuss your specific needs. Please note that useful research will usually require a minimum of five hours’ work for a basic overview. For more detailed or specialist topics, more time will be required.

While historical research skills are eminently transferable, my familiarity with the following periods will allow for greater speed with no loss of accuracy in providing information:

  • Greek antiquity from the Bronze Age to the foundation of Constantinople in the early 4th century CE;
  • Roman history from the early Republic to the foundation of Constantinople in the early 4th century CE;
  • the history of Britain and Ireland from 1700 to 1801.

Disclaimer: the information will be provided to the best of my ability. That doesn’t mean it’ll be either complete or completely accurate, just that it will be as complete and as accurate as I can provide in the time available.