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Biography Research Guide   Tags: biography  

WSU databases and free sites that contain researched and reliable information on people from all countries, time periods and professions.
Last Updated: Feb 2, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Why Use Biography Databases

If you've ever searched for biographical material on the internet, you know that your search engine results are usually short, duplicate the same pages over and over, and they do not cite any published material to verify the information.

Search the specialized sources listed here for reliable biographical information.

WSU Databases

  • Biography in Context. Huge collection of biographies on over 525,000 people worldwide. Includes full text articles from hundreds of periodicals, including the full text of standard reference titles such as: Webster's Biographical Dictionary, Encyclopedia of World Biography (28 vols.), Dictionary of American Biography (20 vols.), Newsmakers, and more. Note: Access to the Gale/Cengage databases is made possible by the Massachusetts Regional Library System. 
  • Current Biography – Entire contents of the printed monthly issues, since 1940 a trusted source in libraries. Contains carefully researched profiles of people in the news including politicians, sports figures, businesspeople, writers, actors, scientists and celebrities. Substantial profiles between 2,000-5,000 words; short bibliography follows each entry. Print volumes from 1940 - 2006 are shelved in the Reference collection on the 2nd floor: Ref/CT100/C8
  • Encyclopedia Britannica - information from the encyclopedia, plus links to selected web sites.
  • Lexis-Nexis - People Search - Best for recent personalities; full-text biographical articles culled from journals, magazines and newspapers.
  • Literature Resource Center - full text biographies of literary figures
  • Master File Premier - [Ebsco] This database provides full-text access to over 84,000 biographies on people from all professions, countries, and time periods. Click on Advanced Search and enter the person's name in the search box - then scroll down and limit the Publication Type to Biography.
  • Oxford Art Online - This database includes the full text of the Grove Dictionary of Art, which includes biographies of artists from antiquity through the present. To find biographies, go to the Advanced Search, click on the Biography Search tab, and search the artist's name.
  • Oxford Reference Online - [Premium Collection] This collection includes biographies taken from several hundred reference sources. It is strongest in history and the humanities. After running a Quick Search on a person's name, click the Subject Reference: Longer Entries tab [upper left corner of the screen] to view more the more substantive entries.

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    Matt Bejune
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