WR121 Fisher: Observing the Ordinary

Researching Everyday Objects

Below you will find some specific books and online encyclopedias to search for credible information about the object you have selected. You may also be interested in browsing for objects in the ebook below titled An Uncommon History of Common Things.

Additionally, you can take a look at books and articles on your object by using the tabs at the top of this page. (If you have chosen to write about Twinkies, you're in luck!)

Your research can address the following questions about the object:

  1. What is its history?

  2. What are its origins?

    1. Who invented or popularized it?

    2. Which peoples/cultures first used it, and for what purposes?

  3. What might most people not know about this object that you consider surprising or interesting?

Books About Everyday Objects

Find Books, Articles, DVDs, and more

Encyclopedia Sources

Take a look in PCC's two online encyclopedia collections for your object.

Simply type in the name of your object and scan through the search results. While not all objects will be represented, many will have helpful, focused encyclopedia entries.

Advanced Google Searching

---> Limit the search to educational websites and add the words “history” or “origins” to your search:

spoons AND history OR origins site:edu

---> Find a relevant Wikipedia article and follow the links in the reference that look promising.

---> If the object you're researching is a brand type, such as "Kleenex" you might go to the parent company's website, such as Kimberly-Clark, in order to see if they publish historical information on the product.