005: How to Research Your House Pt 1

Learn about the resources we use to uncover the history of houses around Lawrence in this episode, featuring special guest Frankie! Putting together a narrative about your house based on available historical records can be a powerful way to peer into the hyperlocal past. We talk historical neighborhoods in Lawrence here, but be on the lookout for a future episode about rural dwellings, newer housing developments, and non-house structures.

Oranges & Peaches is recorded in the SOUND+VISION Studio at Lawrence Public Library. Thanks to Joel Bonner for composing our jingle and editing the show.


O&P Show Notes

  • They named the Library outreach van! Its name is Dottie.  
  • Find Booktoberfest events and updates.
  • Ruby and Hazlett both have chihuahuas now! Did you know the call number for domesticated dogs is 636.7?
  • Places to start your house research, linked on our Genealogy and Local History Page:
    • NewspaperARCHIVE (available at LPL and at home with your library card)
      • Hot tip: click “Advanced Search” and type your address into the “With the Exact Phrase” search bar to make sure you’re searching for your street number AND your street together. For example, type 707 Vermont so that 707 Maine doesn’t show up in your results.
    • Sanborn Maps (available at LPL and at home with your library card)
      • Some areas of town are cut off, but the areas around downtown are pretty well-defined. Sometimes they list the property owners or business names. 
  • Interactive City of Lawrence Map:      
    • Hot tip: click the “Layer List” and check the boxes for Plat and Plat Modification, you might find some cool info about your lot or the block you live on. 
  • Frankie did a ton of research on the wood her house is made of. Wanna learn about types of wood? Here’s a cool Wood Identification book we found.
  • The old barn in McLouth Frankie was talking about, and salvaged some wood from.
  • City Directories! You’ll have to come to LPL and view these in the Local History Room. No appointment needed. 
  • Douglas County Property Search.     
    • Hot tip: click that Appraisal Card button and download the pdf for your house. It might have some other information like the tract description, floor plan, or “dwelling components.” 

Frankie's reading...

A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia Savage McAlester. (Sorry, we don’t have this one at LPL, but we have a similar one.)

American Houses

Ruby's reading...

The Very Nice Box

Hazlett's reading...

Wolf Hall

Avatar: the Last Airbender - the Promise

(Psst... what are Hoopla and Overdrive? Free access to eBooks and eAudiobooks with your library card!)


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