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Readers are urged to consult the Library's listing of electronic resources for a current list. To access these databases, it is necessary to use one of the public computers located in the Library. Many of the reading rooms have dedicated computers to electronic resources, with the majority of them located in the South Hall of the Rose Main Reading Room and the Public Catalog Room.
The following databases are particularly useful:
American National Biography offers portraits of more than 17,400 men and women -- from all eras and walks of life -- whose lives have shaped the nation. Conceived as the successor to the Dictionary of American Biography. Includes bibliographical references and is searchable by name, occupation, sex, time period, special collection (e.g., American Indian), etc.
Biography and Genealogy Master Index, an index to biographical listings in English-language biographical dictionaries, subject encyclopedias, and related works for nearly 13 million people. The listings often provide birth and death years, as well as giving the source of the biographical listing, publisher, year of publication, and other pertinent data.
Biography Index, an index to English-language biographical material appearing in books, periodicals, and selected newspapers. It indexes interviews, obituaries, biographical novels, poetry, and juvenile literature, as well as current book-length and collective biographies.
Biography Resource Center, database of biographical information on more than 150,000 individuals from all parts of the world; the information is taken from standard biographical resources, many of which are available also in print, microfilm, or electronic format at the Library.
Contemporary Authors, available as part of the Literature Resource Center. The biographical sketches in this work cover living writers from many countries but with an Anglo-American bias, and provide personal information about the biographee in addition to writings, work in progress, and biographical sources. The writers analyzed represent many fields including humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, a collection of biographies of notable Canadians, representing a wide range of occupations and achievements. The first phase of this work presents persons who died between 1000 and 1920.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, available as part of the Literature Resource Center. This impressive resource covers different periods, styles, and dimensions of world literature with a particular focus on American and British literary history (e.g., Victorian novelists, American journalists, African American fiction writers). It is characterized by substantive essays which discuss the contributions and significance of representative authors; these essays include not only biographical data but also a list of the author’s writings, bibliographies on the author, and a selection of biographical and critical works.
Literature Resource Center, includes biographical and biocritical information on writers from all times and places; it is related to several print resources, including Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, and Contemporary Literary Criticism.
Marquis Who’s Who on the Web, a compilation of the various Who’s Who titles such as Who’s Who in America. Coverage includes standard biographical information, and is searchable by name, gender, occupation, geography, avocational interests, religion, and other categories.
New York Times Online Current and Backfile (Proquest) These two electronic databases provide the full text of The New York Times from its founding in 1851 through the present; since the access is via keyword, the researcher is able to gather information about a person (e.g., news article, obituary, paid death notice, etc.) by simply entering that person’s name. Please check the listing of electronic resources for other newspapers now available electronically.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, contains over 50, 000 biographies of people who have shaped British life from earliest times to the present. Searchable by name, field of interest or occupation, sex, religion, time period, etc.
World Biographical Information System (WBIS), a compiled index to biographical archives containing entries for nearly four million people representing all places and times. The entry for each person includes years of birth and death, occupation, quoted source, and bibliographic information about the sources used. Most of the resources cited are available in print, microfilm, or electronic format in the Library.