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Finding Biographical Information   Tags: biographical, biographies, biography  

This guide supplies tips on locating biographies from subject-specific encyclopedias, biography databases - and more.
Last Updated: Aug 13, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Biographies Online & In Print Print Page

Biography databases & online encyclopedias

 CleopatraBelow are links to online biographical databases and a collection of online encyclopedias provided by the Library that supply information on the famous and infamous worldwide.

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Find full-text historic and contemporary biographical information from this collection of online encyclopedias covering virtually all types of biography - as well as subject information.
  • Biography Reference Center from Ebsco
    Full text biographical articles on Nobel Prize winners, authors, artists, politicians, world leaders, film directors, American reformers, musicians and composers from the ancient world to the present. Replaces and expands on Biographies Plus Illustrated from H.W. Wilson.
  • Marquis Who's Who on the Web
    Search this database by name of the person or by personal elements to discover biographies of interest. Searchable elements include birth data, education and degree, career history, creative works and more. The profiles are from the many 'Who's Who' titles, formerly only available in print. Note: This collection is limited to 3 simultaneous users so thanks for logging out when you've finished.
  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index
    This huge database sometimes does not link to full-text online, but tells you what book or encyclopedia has the information you need. You can then search the library's catalog by title for the resource - it will often be available at the Library.

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Biography collections covering specific subject areas

Here's a listing of online collections the Library offers that contain full-text articles or essays on those well-known in their field. 


Using BOOKS!

Ah!  Perhaps you're now fascinated by someone and you want to read more! 

Einstein biographyHere's how to find full-length print books and ebooks.  Find books in either:

  • Skyline for books and ebooks in the Auraria Library
  • Prospector for books in many Colorado libraries.  You can request that these books be shipped, in generally 2 to 4 working days, at no charge* to the Auraria Library.
  • Worldcat for books all over the country.  You can request that these books be loaned to you via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at no charge.   Not signed up for ILL?  Do it here.*

Find books about people in Skyline, Prospector, or Worldcat  by

  • Combining either a person's name, subject, or other descriptive word or phrase with either: 
    • biography
    • autobiography
    • encyclopedias

Keyword search examples: native americans autobiography - scientists biography - anthropology (or anthropologists) biography - architecture encyclopedia - Michael Jackson biography

Hint:  Sometimes just a persons name, either as a subject search or keyword search, will bring up books with biographical information

  *There is no charge for Prospector or interlibrary loan for students, faculty, and staff of the three institutions on the Auraria campus.



Articles that talk about people

Newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and journals frequently profile famous and historic figures.  Find those articles using the Library's databases.

Search the Library's article databases using the word biography or obituary combined with the name of a person (such as Julius Caesar biobgraphy).  

Use another descriptive word or phrase if you don't have a particular person in mind, such as biography photographer, for example. 

Nearly all of the  article databases Auraria subscribes to have some biographical information.  Here are a few examples of databases you could try:

Notable Biography Web Sites

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