Major Research Tools

American National Biography Online

Full-Text, Reference

Scholarly biographical articles on people who have influenced American history and culture. (Does not include information on people still living.)

Dictionary of African Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Biographical information on the men and women who shaped Africa's history from earliest times to the present.

Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro–Latin American Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Information on the lives of Caribbeans and Afro-Latin Americans who are historically significant. Covers the entire Caribbean, and the Afro-descended populations throughout Latin America, including people who spoke and wrote Creole, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Dictionary of Irish Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Biographical dictionary covering the "lives of Irish men and women who made a significant contribution in Ireland and abroad, as well as those born overseas who had noteworthy careers in Ireland."

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Full-Text, Reference

Scholarly, biographical articles on noteworthy people who inhabited or were connected with the British Isles. (Does not include information on people still living.)

Other Suggested Research Tool

Resources for genealogical research from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and other European countries. Includes census, immigration, and military records, city directories and church histories, court documents, as well as some maps, photos, and oral histories.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Full-Text, Reference

Short biographical sketches of Senate and House members from 1774-present. Includes photographs.

Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne

Full-Text, Reference

Biographical dictionary published in the 1870s. Contains many persons not found in other biographical dictionaries; especially strong for French persons. Full text available via Hathi Trust. In French.

Deutsche Biographie

Full-Text, Reference

Electronic versions of the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) and the Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). Searchable by name, birth/death dates, religion, occupation, and author of article.  The ADB includes people from early times to the end of the 19th century.   Skillman has the complete 56-volume print version of the ADB ( CT1053 .A5 in Storage). The NDB includes people who died between 1815 and 1950.

Dictionnaire des femmes de l'ancienne France

Full-Text, Reference

A biographical dictionary of women who lived in France or had an important connection to the French language from the 5th through the 18th century (up to women born in 1780). Although world-famous women are represented, the dictionary's main value is for its entries of women little-known outside their regions or fields of activity. There are two types of entries ("notices"): the "notices modernes" written by contemporary scholars; and the "notices anciennes", which are reproduced from biographical works published since the 16th century. The editors warn that the information from these older published works is not always reliable. Finding entries by browsing is more efficient than searching names directly.

Dizionario biografico degli Italiani

Full-Text, Reference

Scholarly biographical encyclopedia containing information on prominent men and women from Italian history. In Italian.

Gale Literature


Database for researching authors and their works, literary movements and genres. Contains full text of literary works, journal articles, literary criticism, reviews, and biographical information. Also known as Literature Research Center.

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Coverage: Middle Ages-Present

Comprehensive listing of over 45,000 English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and immigrant surnames including variant spellings, origins/etymology, geographical distribution, and associated notes.

Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Full-Text, Reference

Encyclopedia covering the history of Jewish women. Includes thematic essays (e.g., abortion, Hadassah) as well as biographical entries.