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Biographical Resources

Online Resources

  • American National Biography – Provides biographical information for almost 19,000 individuals from all eras and professions.
  • Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) – A PDF dictionary of visual artists (excluding architects and photographers) active in Kansas before 1945, prepared by Susan V. Craig.
  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index – Indexes biographical resources for information on hundreds of thousands of individuals.
  • Biography Index Retrospective – Covers notable individuals from antiquity through 1983. Indexes article and book citations; profiles and interviews with historical figures; obituaries, personal papers and memoirs; and bibliographies from 1946 through 1983.
  • Biography Resource Center – A comprehensive database of biographical information on over 325,000 people throughout history, from around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas. It combines more than 427,000 biographies from over 960 volumes of more than 135 respected Gale sources with full-text articles from more than 270 magazines. Entries are arranged by narrative biographies, thumbnail biographies, magazine articles, and websites when available. Searchable by name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, gender, birth and death years and locations, and availability of images.
  • Biography.com – Online directory of biographical information for over 25,000 people.  Information is stronger for current icons, but some information about historical figures and international people is available.
  • Britannica – Encyclopedia that includes biographical sketches of artists.
  • Credo Reference Biographies – Contains links to a variety of biographical resources, including Who’s Who resources and subject oriented biographies.
  • Current Biography – Online version of the Current Biography Yearbook with over 15,000 biographies and 9,000 obituaries of prominent individuals from 1940 until today.
  • Dictionary of Art Historians – Compilation of art historians mentioned in art historiographies.
  • Dictionary of National Biography – Source that includes almost 60,000 biographies
  • Distinguished Asian Americans – This reference book features biographical profiles of 166 distinguished Asian Americans who have made significant contributions to American society. For the purpose of this work, an Asian American may be native or foreign-born. If foreign-born, the person has immigrated to the United States, most likely since the end of World War II. If native-born, the person may be a second-, third-, or fourth-generation descendant of an Asian immigrant.
  • From Polis to Empire–The Ancient World, c. 800 B.C. – A.D. 500: A Biographical Dictionary – Electronic book with several hundred biographies of figures of the ancient world. Emphasis is on cultural figures and events rather than the political events and figures.
  • Getty Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) – Authoritative list of artists names compiled by the Getty Research Institute.
  • Notable Names Database – Database of over 35,000 people, providing basic information and some detailed biographies.  The NNDB tracks notoriety of people, both living and dead and links them by their connections.
  • Oxford African American Studies Center – Includes full-text access to many reference sources in African American studies, such as the Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895, Black Women in America, and African American National Biography. The AASC also features bibliographies, interactive timelines and maps, thematic photo essays and image collections, key primary source documents, and selected links to Internet resources. Searchable by name, gender, occupation, geography, hobbies and interests, religion and much more. Among other sources, this database includes entries from Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (5 vols., 2005). Updated daily.
  • Oxford Art Online – Reference source for information on art and artists.
  • Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary – This electronic book contains brief, introductory information about various individuals who made outstanding contributions to the culture of Western civilization from 1500-1620.
  • Who’s Who Online – Features comprehensive profiles on over 1,444,914 million of the most accomplished individuals from all fields of endeavor including: government, business, science and technology, the arts, entertainment, and sports. Search by name, gender, occupation, geography, hobbies and interests, religion and much more.
  • World Biographical Information System – Indexes the K.G. Sauer biographical archives microfiche sets, reproducing entries from thousands of biographical reference sources from the 18th to the 20th centuries and covering all regions of the world.