The Reference Department has the following reference books focusing on biographical information:
Biography and Genealogy Master Index Ref CT2134.B5x
Biography Index Ref CT213.Z1 B5
Current Biography Ref CT100 .C8
Who’s Who in World Politics: from 1860 to the Present Day Ref D21.3 .P35 1996
The International Who’s Who of Women Ref CT3202.I58x
Who’s Who of American Women Ref E747.W65
The International Who’s Who Ref CT120.I5
Who’s Who in Finance and Industry REF HF3023.A2 W5
The Reference Department also has numerous books focusing on biographical information about of specific areas: artists, actors, scientists, writers, etc. Use SWAN to access these additional reference books and books from the library’s general collection. Note that books with call numbers beginning with Ref are located in the Reference Collection.
http://Biography.com — The Web site of the Biography Channel
http://INFOPLEASE.com/people.html — Includes biographies by category as well as a search feature
http://IMDB.com — Internet Movie Database with biographies of actors
http://www.distinguishedwomen.com — Biographies of women, including search by subject and name. Links provided to additional Web sites on women in history.
A search for biographical information is usually for a person who has achieved a measure of distinction during his or her lifetime. However, most people leave little recorded information, except perhaps an obituary, a will, a few letters and photographs, personal financial records, and sometimes a diary, journal, etc. Basic information about very well-known individuals can often be found by consulting a general encyclopedia, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Before you start a search, it helps to know some basic facts about the person.
Sources for Biographical Information include:
Primary Sources: An information source is considered primary if it is a work written, created, or generated by the person whose life is the subject of the search. Primary sources include:
Secondary Sources:An information source is considered secondary if it is a work written by others about the person's life and times or about his/her works. Secondary sources include:
The following online databases are located on the library's home page . To locate this list of databases, click on Indexes and Databases. Then, choose Subject and click on Biography. Note that several of the databases limit the number of users.
American National Biography — Biographies of deceased persons who influenced American history
Biographies Reference Bank Select — Biographical profiles of current celebrities, authors, historical figures, etc.
Dictionary of Scientific Biography — Biographies of natural scientists and mathematicians
Literature Criticism Online — Information on writers and their works in four areas: children’s literature, nineteenth century, twentieth century, and contemporary
Marquis Who’s Who on the Web — current biographies
Oxford African American Studies Center — biographical and research articles on African American history and culture
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography — Detailed biographical essays and pictures of deceased persons with significant connection to British historyBottom of Form
To find books about a particular person, go to SWAN (located on the library’s Web page), and do a subject search for your topic. A subject search will result in a list of books focusing on your topic. To search, type your topic in last-name, first-name order. Here’s an example: