Aka the ultimate #sellnerdy resource guide
As the Nerdy Girls, we get asked a lot of random questions. Yes, we really are nerds. No, we’re the NERDY Girls, not the dirty/flirty girls. And yes, we will share our nerdy little secrets! We’re firm believers in sharing knowledge because while we ARE amazeballs, we certainly didn’t invent this stuff! We end up doing a LOT of random Tampa research for our social media and we're totally giving you a sneak peak as to how we do it! That being said strap yourselves in for our epic nerdy resource guide!
Ever wonder how we find though cool old photos of Tampa? THIS is how we make the magic happen:
- Burgert Brothers – This is probably THE best resource for finding old-timey Tampa photographs. It’s literally a gold mine! The Burgert Brothers were the premiere local photographers from the late 1800s to the early 1960s here in Tampa Bay. Today, thanks to a generous donation, 15,000 of their photos are archived at the Hillsborough County Public Library.
- Florida Memory – This is website is your insider's pass to the state archives. They house over 200,000 searchable photographs from Florida’s past. They also have interesting historical documents, advertisements, and maps. Only downside? Keyword STATEWIDE. While they have a great Tampa selection, be prepared to do some digging.
- UF Digital Collection – One of our newest resources we’ve been using, UF’s History and Heritage collection has a lot of Tampa-centric material we haven’t found elsewhere. One of our favorites? A great selection of vintage cigar labels.
Who lived where?
If you’ve owned an old home or love vintage architecture you’ve probably been curious as to the history of a building/home. What would Sherlock Holmes do? He’d totally use these resources!
- Public Records – The first stop on the crazy stalker train. This is where we always start our research. Hillsborough County has all public records up to 1965 digitalized. That includes sales of your house, the original plat map (a map of the lots in your neighborhood), plus marriages/deaths/etc. We use the public records to find the earliest owner we can and then we research elsewhere.
- Ancestry.com – Yeah that’s right, ancestry.com. We might be crazy and random, but this is legit. While most people use the website to search for their family trees, you can actually use it to search for your house’s history. The two best databases to look at? Census Data & City Directories. Census data includes a property address, EVERYONE who lives there, ages, professions, and how they are related. While only recorded every 10 years, it’s a great way to get the basics. The city directories are a great way to find basic histories in between the census data. Turns out back in the day everyone AND their addresses were as listed in the city directory. Think of it as a precursor to the phonebook. While this is an awesome resource, give us a shout before you go searching, it isn’t as easy as you’d hope.
- Google – This is literally the BEST source of info we use. We take all the names, dates, etc. from our previous searches and google the heck out of it. We also use Google to come up with most of our super awesome nerdy girl posts.
We only use one resource for our architectural nuggets (other than Kate’s brain) and it’s literally a field guide. A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia Savage McAlester. If you are an old house geek you NEED to buy this. While it’s not something you should sit down and read (unless you have insomnia) but it’s a great coffee table book.