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Biography Resources: Digital resources

This guide describes and connects members of the organ Community with resources about biography and profile writing.


Richardson Library has several database resources for biography.  It should be noted also that other Databases like Avery Index for Architecture or U. S. Major Dailies have search filters that allow you to limit results to obituaries.

Table of Contents

Biography Databases databases specific to biography.

News Resources contain links to news sources with biographical resources like profiles, and obituaries.

Other Resources contains links to resource with other biographical data like the Library of Congress Authority Files which may be useful for sleuthing basic details of biography like birth and death years, or pseudonyms.

Biography Databases

Biography in Context 

This database combines biographies and full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals. Search for people based on one or more personal facts such as birth and death year, nationality, ethnicity, occupation or gender, or combine criteria to create a highly-targeted custom search

Thumbnail biographies usually are grouped by special categories such as fields of work or geographical areas of the country or the world. Narrative biographies cover specific kinds of people such as contemporary writers, prominent scientists, historic world leaders, notable African Americans, etc.

African American Biographical Database

Biographies of over 30,000 African-American activists, politicians, artists, writers, musicians, professionals, religious leaders, former slaves, and more, in over 40,000 entries from Black Biographical Dictionaries 1790-1950.

Literary Index 

An index to biographies of more than 138,000 authors and to literary criticism of more than 176,000 literary works. Much of the material indexed here can be found full text in the Literature Resource Center or in print in your library.

World Almanac

Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia and four almanacs (World Almanac & Book of Facts, World Almanac of the U.S.A., World Almanac of U.S. Politics, and World Almanac for Kids) is a fundamental reference source which includes biographies, encyclopedia entries, facts, statistics.

Coverage includes American life, arts and entertainment, computers, economics, the environment, historical anniversaries, national defense, the nations of the world, people in the news, science and technology, sports, profiles of cities and states, taxes, vital statistics and much more.

Literature Resource Center

Literature Resource Center provides access to biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline. Combining Gale Group's core literary databases in a single online service, the Literature Resource Center covers more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers with in-depth coverage of 2,300 of the most studied authors.

News Resources

U. S. Major Dailies
Indexes and provides access to online full text for 21 newspapers, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.

       ProQuest Historical and Regional News Databases.  To search for biographical resources in these databases select the "Biography" or "Obituary" filter under the 'Document Type' menu at the bottom middle of the search page.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American‎ (1893 - 1988)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Sun‎ (1837 - 1994)   

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times with Index‎ (1851 - 2016)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal‎ (1889 - 2002)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post‎  (1877 - 2003)

U.S. Newsstream (1980 - current)

International Newsstream 

Global Breaking Newswires

Canadian Newsstream

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals‎  (1934 - current)

Other Resources

Library of Congress Authority Files.  The library of Congress contains very short biographical information often the birth and death years, pseudonyms and sometime other biographical notes.  After clicking on the link above, select "Name Authority Headings" from the search filter and type the name you are looking for.

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