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History and Literature: A Guide to Research Resources

Biographical sources

American National Biography Online
A standard source for U.S. historical biography with over 17,000 individual entries. The ANB Online is fully searchable and includes illustrations, cross-references, and links to external web sites.

African-American Biographical Database
Includes biographies of thousands of African Americans from 1790-1950.

Oxford African American Studies Center
Browse Biographies for full-text entries from an array of reference sources.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
The electronic version of the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography published in 2004, the sixty volumes of which include 50,000 biographies and some 10,000 images of deceased "men and women who have shaped all aspects of the British past." Enhancements available online include the ability to view articles from the earlier edition of the DNB; a "Themes" section that provides access to "reference lists" of individuals who have held particular offices (e.g., Archbishops of Canterbury) and to essays on various topics (e.g., The General Election of 1964: Forty Years On), and links to relevant web sites.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index
The best place to begin a search for biographical information in printed sources, indexing 13.5 million references in almost 3,000 biographical dictionaries and reference works.

World Biographical Information System
Provides brief identifying information, primarily on pre-20th century figures, but includes contemporary figures as well, with references to entries in biographical dictionaries, many of which are reproduced full-text, on-line. Others are reproduced on microfiche available in the Widener Reference Room. Many of these sources are also in the Widener stacks in their original paper format.

Biographical Dictionaries

Many countries have major, standard biographical dictionaries.  You can search for them in HOLLIS with  keywords such as Africa biography dictionaries.  Here are some examples: