One of the best ways to learn about parapsychology is to study its historical development. History can help you to understand the origin of ideas, theories, methodology, controversies, terms, and other things you may be interested in from the context of the times in which the developments took place, and considering both actual parapsychological work and the social aspects that influenced the field. The latter includes beliefs prevalent at the time, competition with other disciplines, patterns of intellectual influence, and the dynamics of professionalization, among other topics. From the point of view of doing parapsychology, the past literature can provide us resources to avoid past methodological mistakes, generate hypotheses for research, and evaluate controversies. Furthermore, a historical perspective can do much to provide us with the human aspect of parapsychology, aspects such as information about the lives of mediums, psychics, researchers, and theoreticians.
In the downloadable pdf below titled Learning the History of Parapsychology, Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado presents some bibliographical suggestions and links to information sources that will assist interested readers in becoming familiar with the history and past literature of parapsychology.
Download: Learning the History of Parapsychology by Carlos S. Alvarado