Primary Source Archives
Gale Primary Sources offers forensics archives and collections that provide researchers with firsthand content.
Examine carefully the field of forensics, which is the scientific approach to gathering and analyzing evidence from crime scenes to be used in legal proceedings. Beyond crime scenes, forensic experts may also investigate train or plane crashes to determine what caused them, analyze materials to determine the presence of chemical weapons or explosives, or examine DNA to determine a person’s identity.
Also known as forensic science, forensics is a multidisciplinary field that requires biology, chemistry, and medicine as well as physics, computer science, geology, and psychology. Forensic scientists examine objects, substances (including blood or drug samples), chemicals (paints, explosives, toxins), tissue traces (hair, skin), or impressions (fingerprints or tidemarks) left at the crime scene.
There are many subdisciplines within forensics, including forensic anthropology (the study of skeletal remains), criminalistics (examination and interpretation of physical evidence and the preparation of reports for legal proceedings), digital and multimedia sciences (the recovery and examination of evidence from computers and phones), forensic engineering (with a focus on accident investigations, product failures, and environmental contamination—often providing expertise in criminal and civil proceedings), forensic dentistry (using dental knowledge to identify human remains), forensic pathology (injury analysis and performance of autopsies to determine cause and manner of death), forensic biology (examination of blood and other bodily fluids, hair, bones, insects, and plant and animal remains), forensic toxicology (study of the adverse effects of drugs and chemicals on biological systems), forensic document examination (handwriting analysis), and forensic psychology (determination of a defendant’s competence to stand trial, assessment of mental illness as it relates to criminal responsibility).
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