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.)


Britannica Online

Full-Text, Reference

Web version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.


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.)


Oxford Reference Online

Full-Text, Reference

Electronic versions of Oxford dictionaries and other reference works covering many disciplines.


Other Suggested Research Tool

Ancestry.com

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. Note that the project is still in progress; entries are complete only through Pazienza (as of 2014).


Gale Literary Sources (formerly Artemis Literary Sources)

Full-Text

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


Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia

Full-Text, Reference

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


LexisNexis Academic: Biographical Information Search

Full-Text

Biographical articles from news and business publications as well as some directories of U.S. and European government officials. Useful for people currently in the news -- particularly those active in the field of business -- rather than historical figures.


Literature Online: Reference

Full-Text

The full text of several academic literary reference sources. Especially useful for finding lengthy, critical biographies of widely studied authors. Note that when you perform a subject search for an author's name you must enter the author's last name first.


Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present

Reference

Textbase for researching major figures and time periods in British women's fiction. The collection contains profiles of authors' lives, career chronologies, and in-depth bibliographies (but NOT full text of individual works of literature).


WorldCat Identities

Reference

Provides individual pages for 'identities' based on the personal and corporate names found in WorldCat. Typical entries show lists of the most common works written by and about an author, the genres in which they worked, subjects associated with them, and a graphical timeline showing their publication history.