Evidence Collection Books


This article provides a brief overview of evidence and the process of evidence collection. In addition, it includes a list of evidence collection books to help you learn more about the subject.

What is Evidence Collection?

Evidence collection is the process of retrieving items, materials, data, and photographs from a crime scene “as is” without damaging or altering them.

Types of Evidence

The types of evidence investigators collect at a crime scene will depend on the crime committed. Different categories and examples include:

  • Biological – Physical evidence includes hair, bodily fluids such as saliva or semen, and body tissues such as skin, fingernails, etc.
  • Prints – Types of prints that may be collected include fingerprints, footprints, handprints, mouth prints, and others
  • Ballistics – Evidence associated with firearms includes firearms, gun residue, bullet casings, and bullet holes.
  • Digital – Phone records, text messages, call logs, internet history, keystrokes, etc.
  • Physical – Physical items such as weapons, clothing, or other things left behind.

A Private Investigator’s Role

Although evidence is primarily collected by police officers, crime scene forensic specialists, and related technicians, private investigators may visit the crime scene after the fact to gather new or different evidence for their clients.

During this type of investigation, private investigators must understand proper evidence collection. Also, PIs must understand preservation and analysis procedures. Several excellent books on the subject can be used to augment your on-the-job training or formal education.

List of Evidence Collection Books

The following books can help serve as a great resource to help private eyes learn about the general process. Plus, you can learn the proper procedures and applicable laws for collecting objects and information related to a crime.  Private investigators can use these books to learn:

  • Proper procedures for collecting forensic evidence and data from the scene of the crime
  • How to separate what is helpful from what is not
  • How to take crime scene photographs and videos like the pros
  • How to correctly store, preserve, and protect evidence from contamination
  • How to examine and analyze the objects and information and draw conclusions about what happened during the crime
  • How evidence is presented in a court of law to support conclusions or theories

The FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics provides guidance and procedures for safe and efficient methods used by the FBI’s Laboratory and Investigative Technology Divisions.

This book is the official guide for law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and courts that want to submit evidence to the FBI. It covers the right ways to investigate crime scenes, examine evidence, and send it to the FBI safely. The types of evidence discussed include bullet materials, computers, hairs, inks, lubricants, ropes, safe insulations, shoe prints, tire treads, and weapons of mass destruction.

The book also emphasizes the importance of documenting crime scenes using narratives, photos, videos, audio recordings, or sketches.

Whether you’re a professional forensics expert or just curious about police investigations and the criminal justice system, the FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics is an intriguing read.

The “Forensic Investigation Handbook” is a comprehensive introduction to the critical aspects of evidence collection, preservation, analysis, and presentation within a forensic investigation. Covering a range of disciplines, including criminalistics, digital forensics, and more, the book offers practical guidance for professionals and students alike. Authored by experts in the field, it outlines methodologies to ensure the accurate gathering and handling of evidence while maintaining its integrity. With insights into modern forensic techniques, this handbook equips readers with foundational knowledge to navigate the complexities of investigative processes and contribute effectively to the legal system.

Evidence Collection Handbook

The Evidence Collection handbook is designed to serve as a quick reference guide on effective procedures. It includes procedures for collecting, preserving, and transmitting evidence for examination, analysis, and presentation at the time of prosecution. This is an excellent handbook to be used by PIs as a quick reference. Plus, you can use the guide to learn how to collect forensic materials from a crime scene. We recommend adding it to your reference library.

More Information

For more information, see our Crime Scene Investigation section. Also, check out our complete list of Private Investigator Books.

Questions and Comments

If you have questions about these evidence collection books, please post a message below.


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