To quote myself:
It seems that one could begin almost anywhere, on almost any shelf in the library, and follow trails of references and felicitous serendipities. The thing is to begin, and to build an edifice out of interest and engagement.
The 'anywhere' includes documents like this one, which can be "read" for their implications, and treated as stories:
Perhaps the best known images of the Johnstown Flood are of the John Shultz house. Pierced by a tree, the house became an instant icon of the Flood and was a curiosity to many who traveled to Johnstown to see the devastation of the flood first hand. Many posed sitting or standing on the trunk of the tree. The Schultz family all survived the flood.