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Science: Primary Sources

Key information resources supportive of science research.

About these Resources

Primary sources are original sources. For example, Darwin's Origin of Species is a primary source. Books discussing Darwin's theories, including those presented in Origin of Species, are secondary sources.

This list contains lengthy excerpts from, or entire texts of, a number of famous primary sources.

Primary Sources

Books, Articles, Notebooks
Written by and documenting observations, theories,
and thoughts of many of history's most famous scientists

Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species
(Video documentary in five parts)

Watson & Crick (DNA)

Journal article: Watson & Crick, Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid. Nature, April 25, 1953, Volume 171, page 737. Full text HERE.


Typescript/manuscript/notes: Watson & Crick, Structure for DNA (Typescript, 1953). Full text HERE.

For background and discussion of Watson's and Crick's work: The Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, 1901-2000.

Dr. Linus Pauling, Research Notebooks, 1992-1994 (Oregon State University). Full text HERE.

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing (ESP) website provides a number of historic primary sources in the sciences: (home page). (Full-text primary source books , e.g., Darwin, On the Origin of Species). (Mendel, Experiments in Plant Hybridization, full-text -- one example of content found on the ESP website).

Historic Scientific Books & Treatises Online (full text, multi-page excerpts and more)

Aristotle. On the Generation of Animals.
On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres.
On the Origin of Species.
On the Natural Faculties.
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
Experiments in Plant Hybridization.
Studies on Fermentation: The Diseases of Beer.
Thomson. Discovery of the Electron:
Carriers of Negative Electricity (lecture)

Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species

Controversial Science / Charles Darwin

This 1993 documentary, narrated by actor Donald Sutherland, is in five parts. To watch subsequent parts on this page, when each part ends, wait for the small "countdown clock" in upper left corner to finish, then choose the next video part from the graphic "table of contents" that appears at bottom or screen.

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