Finding Biographic Information Online

Students and others frequently come to the library seeking biographical information about a variety of people. Although there are many print sources available in most libraries, in some cases those may be outdated or simply do not have enough information about the person.The World Wide Web has numerous sources designed to assist users in finding biographical information. What follows is a "webliography" of sites which include biographic information:

  • 4,000 Years of Women in Science - Includes biographical information on over 125 women astronomers, physicists, mathematicians, chemists, natural philosophers, inventors, writers, etc. The information ranges from the type of science and birth and death dates to several paragraphs with photo and links.

    Available anywhere through the Internet.
  • African American Women Writers of the 19th Century - A digital collection of over 50 published works by 19th century black women writers. A part of the Digital Schomburg Collection, this website provides access to the thought, perspectives, and creative abilities of black women as captured in books and pamphlets published prior to 1920. A full text database is keyword-searchable; each individual title as well as the entire database can be searched to determine what these women had to say about "family," "religion," "slavery" or any other subject of interest to the researcher or casual reader.

    Available anywhere through the Internet.
  • Bio - Search through thousands of paragraph-length biographies of notable personalities from antiquity to the present, from the Bio Channel. Searchable by name of person. Entries include dates, pronunciation guides, the gender, alternate spellings of the name, and other relevant biography links.

    Available anywhere through the Internet.
  • Biographical Dictionary - This dictionary includes more than 25,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day. The dictionary can be searched by names, birth years, death years, positions held, professions, literary and artistic works, miscellaneous achievements, and other keywords.
  • Biographies of Women Mathematicians - An ongoing project by students in mathematics classes at Agnes Scott College, in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. There are biographical essays or comments on most of the women mathematicians and some photos.
  • Celebsite - Provides information on a variety of celebrities. Searchable by name or category, e.g., athlete, actor, writer, producer.
  • Classical Composers - Site for biographies of classical music composers. Searchable by nationality and date as well as alphabetically.
  • Dead People Server - "Remember what's'er name? She played the girl in that dumb movie with whoziss. Whatever happened to her? Specifically, is she dead yet?" The Dead People Server is a list of interesting celebrities who are long dead, newly dead or everyone thinks they're dead. You can search the whole database or browse the names or years one at a time.

    Available anywhere through the Internet.
  • The Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences - Includes an alphabetical index, index by profession, and information on the first African Americans to receive Ph.D.s in a science as well as African American woman scientists. Presented by the Louisiana State University Libraries.
  • Find a Grave - A directory of the locations of the graves of thousands of people with many photographs. Browse by name, location, and claim to fame, and searchable by first or last name. There are also links to cemeteries, funeral homes, and other related subjects. There is an extensive bibliography included.

    Available anywhere through the Internet.
  • Gale's Celebrating Women's History - Includes a timeline from 3000 B.C. to 1994 and biographies of more than 60 women. This diverse list includes Joan of Arc; Harriet Tubman; Madeline Albright; Flossie Wong-Staal; and Ellen DeGeneres. Another feature is the Trials section, with information on 10 significant trials, including the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and the Tailhook Scandal. In addition there are suggestions for Women's History Month activities and links to other Web resources. - Carole Leita
  • Lives, the Biography Resource - Links to thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, oral histories and more:
    • Individual lives of the famous, the infamous, and the not so famous.
    • Group biographies about people who share a common profession, historical era or geography.
    • Also general collections, resources on biographical criticism and special collections
  • MSU Emuseum's Anthropology Biographies - "This biography web has been developed by the anthropology students at Minnesota State University, Mankato as a part of our E-Museum. We strive to produce brief descriptions of anthropologists and other scientists that have direct influence on the discipline of anthropology. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we are continuing to add and it grows each quarter. Feel free to suggest names in our comment section for any future people you would like to see included. We presently have biographies more than 100 people who have influenced anthropology in some way. We are adding new ones all the time." - From the Website
  • S9 Biographical Dictionary - This website includes more than 25,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day. The dictionary can be searched by names, birth years, death years, positions held, professions, literary and artistic works, miscellaneous achievements, and other keywords, and you can edit or correct it.

    Available anywhere through the Internet; you will need to register to make changes.
  • World Biographical Index - This database contains about 2.4 million short biographical entries for prominent individuals who lived in North and South America, Western and Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. The entry for each person contains the name, variations of the name, pseudonyms, the years of birth and death, or years mentioned, occupation, source quoted, and bibliographic information about the sources used. It is also a compiled index to many biographical archives, giving archive name and fiche number. Based on the 5th, CD-ROM edition (K.G. Saur, 1998).