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Discussion Starter #1
Dear authors - especially those who do historical research:

Is there any way to track down what pseudonym a dead author might have used?
I am transcribing family letters from the late 1890s and early 1900s. I know that one of the relatives, born in 1876 & writing from at least 1898 to 1909, published writings under a pseudonym, but there is no one in the family who knows what she published or what name she might have used.

Might there be any source to turn to for some research?

Thanks in advance,
Carol

(Mods - not sure if this is the correct place to post this; if it needs moving - haul away!)
 

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I agree with LK, it's very hard if you don't at least have a title.  But there are a couple of things you might possibly try.  First, you could go down to your local library and explain your situation to the reference librarian.  Your relative might very possibly have donated a copy of her work to the library, since that's a common thing for authors to do, and since she's a local author they might have kept it all this time or at least know something.  Librarians are always interested in local authors.  And if they don't, then your state library might know something, or the english and literature department at one of the colleges in your state.  Finally, the Library of Congress might possibly still have a record using her real name, although it will probably be a paper record that will take time to research.

Your other option is to try to find some non-family-members who knew her.  There should still be at least a few elderly people who remember knowing her personally, and they might be able to give you a clue.  Any additional information will help you, no matter how meager it seems.

It's a tough project, but good luck!

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks lkcampbell & bluearkansascowboy -

I thought that would be the case, sadly.
There is no one left around who could provide any info AND the distant relative lived/wrote in England!

So unless some of the letters that I am transcribing provide an unexpected, hidden clue, I'll probably never be able to figure it out.
 

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Might there be a way to track down the publisher?  If they still exist, they'd likely have a record of the name.  If you know which town the author resided in, there might have been one or two publishers that would have been the logical choices to turn to first at the time.

Or if there are any financial records, there might be a record of payment received from a publisher. 

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Susan & sigrosenblum

Thanks for those tips as well. I will put on my sleuthing hat & see if I can "get any joy".
 
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