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UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Biographical Information: Databases & Websites

A guide to finding biographical resources

Databases & Websites

Biography and Genealogy Master Index (UMW subscription resource)
An index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.

Collective Biographies of Women
An "annotated bibliography of English-language books that collect three or more short biographies of women only."

Dictionary of Literary Biography (UMW subscription resource)
Contains biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of literary figures from all eras and genres.

Gale Literary Sources  (Coverage varies; previously known as Literature Resources from Gale)
Provides access to critical and biographical information on living and deceased authors from around the world.
A directory of resources compiled by librarians at the Internet Public Library.

Salem History
Provides online access to several reference works, including Great Lives from History.  This set also includes volumes for The Ancient World, Prehistory-476 c.e.; the Renaissance & Early Modern Era, 1454-1600; and Notorious Lives.  Simpson Library also owns the physical volumes of these reference works.

Who2?: Find Famous People Fast!
An encyclopedia of some 3,000 "famous people, characters, and creatures." Includes links to related websites.