A unique combination of an effective sampler and analysis of individual particles has been used in studying large particles (> 5 micrometers) at a rural site in Eastern United States. The sampler is a modified 'high volume' rotary inertial impactor, which consists of four collectors of different widths, rotating at high speed and collecting particles by impaction. The collector surfaces were Mylar films coated with apiezon to ensure retention. After sampling, the collection surfaces were weighted to obtain the mass-size distribution. A section of the Mylar sample was transferred to a scanning electron microscope to study in detail the morphology and elemental content of individual particles. Results indicated the following conclusions could be made: (a) Natural sources, minerals and biologicals, were the main contributors to large particles (> 5 micrometers); (b) Contribution of anthropogenic sources, mainly coal-fired power plants emitting fly ash particles, was limited to a few percent of the 5- to 10-micrometers-size range; (c) Pollen and some of the minerals were enriched in sulfur, probably as accumulation of sulfate on the particle surface; (d) At low wind speeds the anthropogenic contribution was enhanced, whereas at high wind speeds natural sources were almost the only contributors to the large particle mode. In both cases the mass distribution of the large particles peaked at around 15 micrometers.