|Many students write for information because they have
an assignment on the Donner Party. Here are some
Start with general information.
don't know anything about the Donner Party, look it up in
an encyclopedia -- there are several
Read a book! I'm not
kidding. You're not going to find a simple, accurate,
well-illustrated account of the Donner Party on the
Internet. Sure, you'll find a lot of information, but
most of it won't make sense unless you already know the
story. You'll have to fit all the bits and pieces
together yourself, which is a waste of time because somebody
has already done it for you. Marian Calabro's
Journey of the Donner Party
and David Lavender's Snowbound
were written especially for young people. They're
factual, easy to read, and have lots of illustrations. If
your local library doesn't have them, you can request
them through Interlibrary Loan.
you want to try something written for adults, read George
R. Stewart's Ordeal by Hunger -- it's outdated
and has quite a few errors, but Stewart is a great
storyteller -- or you could try Peter Limburg's Deceived.
could also watch a video of Ric Burns' documentary
The Donner Party.
an outline of the Donner story, see the
you're ready to start digging.
Think about your assignment. What is your
teacher really asking for? What do you need in order to
finish your project? Once you have an idea you can start
looking for the particular information you need.
are books and articles that give you information about
the Donner Party. Many of them are listed on the Sources page, which includes
you want to know about Donner Party members, see the
Roster pages. There's information about each person.
you have questions, visit the FAQ page. The answers
could be there already.
at the other pages on this website. You might find
something that really interests you.
are many hyperlinks to other websites with information
about the Donner Party on the Links page.
Don't expect to find
everything you need on the Internet.
In September 2000 National Geographic
published an article about the overland trails and
included a folded map showing various emigrant routes,
including Hastings Cutoff. Your library may have this
are also maps in The Perilous Journey of the Donner
Party, Snowbound, The Donner Party
Chronicles, The Oregon Trail Revisited, Maps
of the California Trail, West from Fort Bridger,
Trailing the Pioneers, Trail of the First
Wagons over the Sierra Nevada, and other books
listed on the Sources page.
For maps on the
Internet, see "Trails and Tours" on the Links page, especially the
OCTA virtual tour, the
Trails of Hope website, or
Dan Rosen's page.
Some of the other websites listed on the Links page also have
The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party,
Snowbound, and The Donner Party Chronicles
have great illustrations. (Publication information is
given on the Sources page.)
you want to find pictures of people and other
illustrations on the Internet, there are some on
Dan Rosen's website
and other websites listed on the
If you still can't find what you want
to know, you can write
to me. But please:
Make sure the answer isn't already on the
specific questions. Many students write, "I have to
do a project on the Donner Party. Please send me
information." Well, I'm sorry, but I can't tell you
the whole Donner story by e-mail!
Teachers give you assignments so you'll
learn how to find information and think for yourself.
Have fun with it, and good luck!