Public Records Research Books: Learn How to Uncover Information and Data

Public Records

Public records come in many different forms – court documents, property records, land records, tax filings, vital records, marriage licenses and more. Many public documents and files are available at your local court house or for free online through public records research websites. As a private investigator, you’ll spend a great deal of time sifting through public records, performing research at the local courthouse, and searching through online databases. Having a good understanding of where to look and how to search is critical. There are a number of great books on the subject that can help you pick up the skills you need. Public records search books provide helpful information on:

  • Public information research websites – how to find them, which ones are the best, and how to search for the free public records you need
  • Other sources of public data such as national database information providers such as Intelius and US Search
  • How to navigate the county courthouse to find the info you need
  • How to gain access to databases and search systems that aren’t completely “public” information
  • How to understand the laws related to accessing public files and data, especially related to the Freedom of Information Act

Public Records Online, 6th Edition: The Master Guide to Private & Government Online Sources of Public Data – Book Description – This book claims to be the Master Guide to online public record searching, The sixth edition details nearly 10.000 research websites, both government agencies and private sources. This new edition is completely revised and updated.

The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records – Written by a journalist, this helpful book explains how to use the law and legal ingenuity to obtain access to public documents. Learn how to get past roadblocks and overcome illegal denials to access, how to find better online resources and mine them more effectively for the information you need. Has a comprehensive appendix with a list of all resources. We highly recommend this book.

Find Anyone Fast – This book will help private investigators learn techniques for locating people, info and data. The book, published in 2001 is a bit dated, but it still presents the reader with good ideas for finding information.

The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook: A Guide to Documents, Databases and Techniques – This book is an indispensable reference guide for private investigators, students, journalists and reports, and teachers. The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook is the most comprehensive classroom text available for courses in investigative reporting. A great read for new detectives.

Buy these and other Public Records Books at and start building your library of reference materials today.


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