What is a Biography?
A biography is an account of the special and important events in a person's life
A biography is NOT a bibliography, which is a listing of books and articles on a topic
Biographies may cover basic information about a person's life OR may also be very detailed
Biographical sources cover living and deceased persons, notable persons in particular countries, persons in specific occupations, celebrities, and civil and government leaders
When searching for biographical information you should know:
- The person's full name and correct spelling (for example: Smith, Smyth or Smythe)
- date of birth
- date of death
- nationality or country of residence
- occupation or profession
How to find Biographies
Selected List of Resources
Biography Index 1946- 2011
A multivolume set arranged alphabetically. Identifies entries in periodicals and books. Covers the U.S. unless otherwise indicated. Includes obituaries. REF INDEX TABLE
Current Biography 1940-
Comprehensive articles on people in the news, politicians, sports figures, entertainers, and scientists. Each article includes a photograph and a short bibliography. REF CT100 .C8
American National Biography 1975 - present
Biographies from all eras. It does not include living persons.
Biography and Genealogy Master Index
Biographical sketches in more than 3,400 reference books, covering both contemporary and historical figures throughout the world.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774 - present
Covers individuals who have served in the national legislature and Continental Congress, updated through the 105th Congress. The database may be searched by name, position, and state.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online 1000 - 1930
Contains biographies of persons who died between the years 1000 and 1920 or whose last known date of activity falls within these years.
LexisNexis Biographical Search
Finds information on directors, politicians, celebrities, and other leading figures. The information may contain data such as positions, date of birth, education, achievements and interests.
Literature Resource Center
Biographical information about writers of fiction and nonfiction.
Who's Who 1607 - present
Biographies from 20 of the Who's Who titles published since 1985.
WorldCat 1000 BCE - present
Search all libraries worldwide.