Joseph Priestley Online
Where to start research?

Priestley Library

A very dark shot of the room that held Joseph Priestley's library in Northumberland.

Here is my attempt at systematizing Priestley research (take with a laugh or grain of salt):

1.  Before you can start researching a topic relating to Joseph Priestley, one must know something about Joseph Priestley.  If you do not know anything about Joseph or want to learn more please go to our Joseph Priestley biography page.  If you know what you want to research move to step two.

2.  The second step is to do preliminary research.  This can take many forms depending on what your intention is in studying Joseph Priestley.  The first step would be to decide what you are going to research.  Then you should study Priestley through biographies looking for citations from Priestley's work.  This will allow you to become familiar with relevant Priestley works.  You should also look into related subjects that would help give you the big picture of Priestley's time period and the broader picture of your subject.

3.  There are several ways to access Joseph Priestley's works.  The first way is to go to an institution with a Joseph Priestley collection and read manuscripts.  The manuscripts might be original letters, copies of letters, or early editions of his books.  The second way to access Joseph Priestley work go to a library and use reprints of his books or books with collections of his letters.  The third way is to go to a library and use microforms that contain his works.  The fourth way is to use John Towill Rutt's The Miscellaneous Works of Joseph Priestley




Other research sheets:

  • where manuscript collections are and how to use them, click here.

  • ways libraries may have Priestley books, click here.

  • John Towill Rutt's The Miscellaneous Works of Joseph Priestley, click here.

  • all the books published by Joseph Priestley, click here.

  • a massive bibliography on Joseph Priestley, click here.

  • how the Joseph Priestley House could help you, click here.

Last modified: December 3, 2009 * Copyright © 2009 Andrew Burd-Harris