Biographical Sources

The African American national biography, ed. by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, 2008, 8 v. Online version includes new articles not included in the Print version.

African American Biographical Database includes over 40,000 articles from about 300 works of collective biography. Profiles Search searches index entries by name, place of birth, birth/death dates, occupation, religion, gender, source. Full Text Search searches the biographical articles themselves.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) indexes thousands of English-language biographical dictionaries and other compendia. Not full text; one must do HOLLIS searches for retrieved sources.

Biography in Context includes full text of many reference books, including Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Black Biography, Directory of American Scholars (10th (2002) ed.), Dictionary of American Biography, Marquis Who’s Who on the Web since 1985. The Biographical Facts Search allows search by occupation, nationality, ethnicity (African-American, Asian- American, Hispanic- American, Native- American only), gender, birth/death year, and place.

American National Biography is the standard American source for biographies of major figures. Can do searches of occupations and limit by date.

Notable Black American women. 2 v. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992, 1996.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 4781.41.69

Notable Black American men. 2 v. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992, 1996.
Location : Widener RR 4781.41.61

Cover individuals with birth dates 1686-1970. Include living people. Each entry has a source list and many have portraits. "Area of endeavor" list and a detailed subject index in each volume. Full text in Biography in Context.

Who's who among African Americans. (Titled Who’s who among Black Americans, 1975-95).
Widener | RR 4781.45.10 Latest
Widener | E185.96 .W52 Earlier
--Geographic and occupational indexes. Indexed in Biography and genealogy master index; Full text in Biography in Context (12th (1998) – 19th (2006)).

Who's who in colored America: a biographical dictionary of notable living persons of Negro descent in America. 1927-1950.
Widener US 10796.15
--Includes geographical and vocational listings. Full text in African American biographical database.

Additional sources available in: Finding Biographical Information.