Understanding the historical and cultural context of colonial Puritan society will help you to understand both cultural norms and individual character behaviors while reading.
- General Historical Information 1 | 2 | 3
- Colonial Food 1 | 2 | 3
- Colonial Clothing
- Colonial Trades and Occupations
- Colonial Children, School and Education
- Women in Colonial Times
In the Library
Arthur Miller's Crucible: The Script Online
Published by a California School district, the script is available, in it's entirety, here. Transcription not verified.
Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist's Answer to Politics
By Arthur Miller, this essay was published in The New Yorker on October 21, 1996 before the author's death.
The Weird Gathering
One of many poems written by John Greenleaf Whittier regarding the incident.
Giles Corey of Salem Farms
Interesting poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in play script format!
The Crucible Opera
Based on Miller's play, this opera by Robert Ward was first produced in 1961.
Chronology of Events
A succinct timeline of the historical Salem witch trials.
The Salem Witchcraft Trials, 1692
Part of University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Professor Douglas O. Linder's "Famous Trials" series, provides access to many primary source documents related to the historical Salem Witch Trials, as well as critical consideration of causes and effects.
The 1692 Salem Witch Trials: Documents and Participants
Complete colelction of court documents related to the Salem Witch Trials, including writings by the judges, maps, and petitions for compensation by victims.
List of the Accused
Interesting table of those accused of witchcraft in the early New England period that highlights both consequences and compensations.
Some Miscellany Observations On Our Present Debates Respecting Witchcrafts
This text represents important public conversation about the witchcraft trials, and is based on the digital images of Sam Willard's book, located in it's original at the Massachusetts Historical Society archives.
A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches
This letter, associated with Increase Mather's work, includes a brief, purportedly eye-witness account of the trial of Sarah Dustin/Dastin.
Cornell University Library Witchcraft Collection
Containing over 3,000 titles documenting the history of inquisition and persecution of witchcraft, including court depositions taken from the victims in the torture chamber. All texts available online!
17th Century Colonial New England
This is a truly comprehensive collection of resources emphasizing history as it relates to the Salem witch trials. Worth your time to explore! Be sure to check out all the links on the left-hand navigation bar.
Witchcraft Accusations: February 29 - March 31, 1692
A really neat interactive map that shows the geographical progression of the witchcraft accusations in Salem Village in March 1692.
Colonial House Interactive History
Sponsored by PBS, this site offers 360-degree QuickTime VR panoramic views of colonial life. Explore the site for some quick interactive play!
Salem: Witchcraft Hysteria
Experience the hysteria on this National Geographic website. After reading the intro, begin with the prologue. From there you will enter the experience. The epilogue offers more ways to explore the period.
Case File: The Witches Curse
An interesting overview of Linda Caporeal's investigation into the possibility that ergot poisoning was responsible for the bizarre behavior in Salem.
There are many books based on the period of the Salem witch trials. Below is sampling found in our library.
In the Doctor Who novel, The Witch Hunters, the first Doctor, along with his granddaughter and others visit Salem in the midst of the trials. Historical (and literary figures) including Rebecca Nurse, Abigail Wililams, John Proctor and others are major characters.