After a thorough online search to find as much information about my subject as I can, I usually head off to the library. Sometimes I visit my local library, but often I need to go to a bigger library at a university.
For this book, I headed to a university science library.
with the Latin motto "sapientia et sua docent cause" meaning "Wisdom for its own sake and for the sake of teaching"
This is the spot where I can find, not only current information on my topic, but historical texts that can provide me with the history of my subject. And it's a great library because I can roam through the stacks to find the book I'm looking for. Many libraries don't have open stacks. You have to give a list of books to the librarian and then the books are retrieved for you. The problem is that you don't get to find neighboring books that might provide you with the jewel you never expected.
This first stop on the research trail is much different than the other stops I'll take later on when I'm meeting scientists in the field, but it's a very important first step. And for me - it's loads of fun as I make my initial discoveries.