We perform literature searches on a wide range of topics to support our professional and academic activities and as historic background research for our project reports and histories. This could involve a typical academic literature search of peer-reviewed papers and texts on a topic, starting with a computer search engine query and following, in an iterative process from reference to reference back to the original or early papers on the subject. Our literature searches also provide information on authors so that we can interview or query these individuals for additional information or direction. When documenting the history of the development of a product or technology, our searches may include non-peer-reviewed, but nevertheless critical and timely, literature such as newspapers, trade journals, and other magazine articles, advertisements, product data publications, and catalogs.
Although we perform literature searches as a service, also perform searches to provide references for technical papers and manuals being developed by our team. The results of these searches also provide supporting data for our project and testimonial work, such as determining the suitability of a product for a certain application or the historical “state-of-the-art” of a product or design. This is especially useful in the resolution of product liability or construction defect issues.
We maintain an in-house library that includes reference material not only on current technology and materials, but also on historic technology and materials. Our archives include architectural and engineering handbooks, texts, specification manuals, practice handbooks, materials handbooks, government regulations, building codes, technical agency guidelines, historical maps, drawings, photos, and other historical documentation and records. This wealth of information, accumulated over years of historical research, makes it possible to determine the products and technologies, as well as the prevailing practices of design and construction professionals, from the present time back to the 1700s.
Here are some examples of past projects that illustrate our approach.