I probably blogged about this before, and will no doubt do so again, but I once more feel the need to say how convenient the internet is to research. Most non-students don't like Wikipedia, but I adore it. OK, I admit to double checking those facts once I find what I'm looking for, but I do use it as a starting point. Why? It's fast, easy, and generally knows what I'm looking for even if I type in generalities.
Wikipedia aside, Google, Yahoo, and Ask.com are right up there for me. How much easier is it to type in 'mourning rituals Victorian' or 'railroads Leeds' and find a great link (usually with supporting references) than plowing through book after book, and hoping you've got the right one to begin with?
I love books, and don't think they're at all passé as people seem to believe these days. The book will never go out of style. But come on! In 10 minutes, you can go online, search, read, and get back to your story. Minus the requisite reading email, getting lost in the history, and taking a tangent to traveling customs when really, all I wanted was to see when the Leeds train went to London!