American Historical Biography

African American biographical database [Harvard Login]

Includes biographical sketches of thousands of African Americans. The biographies come from  published reference sources, obituary files, slave narrative collections, and internet sites.  Search by name, place of birth, date of birth, date of death, occupation, religion, or gender.

American National Biography [Harvard Login] 

Biographical sketches of notable Americans deceased since 1995.  A standard source for U.S. historical biography and successor to Dictionary of American Biography [Print Only].  Most have biographies have  a bibliography that mentions if personal papers are available in archival collections.  Some biographies include portraits.

Dictionary of American Biography [Print Only]

The predecessor of American National Biography [Harvard Login].  Contains over 15,000 biographical sketches of notable Americans who are deceased.  

Marquis who's who on the web [Harvard Login]

Includes Who Was Who [Print Only] which provides brief biographical entries about notable Americans.  This source is good for confirming, birth and death dates, names of spouses and children, and career paths.

Notable American Women [Print Only]

Biographies of notable American women deceased before 1999.  The first volume was published in 1971 was a watershed event in women's history. By uncovering and documenting the enormous contributions that women had made--previously overlooked or under appreciated in earlier reference works--these volumes changed the way historians thought and wrote about American history. 

Not sure which to choose?   Try Biography and Genealogy Master Index [Harvard Login] first.

For more information, contact a research librarian.

World Historical Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [Harvard Login]

50,000 biographies and some 10,000 images of deceased "men and women who have shaped all aspects of the British past."

World Biographical Information System [Harvard Login]

The World Biographical Information System Index organizes material from printed reference works published from the 16th to the 20th century, and includes people from all countries and regions worldwide. The WBIS Index Online database provides name entries to short biographies on more than 3.6 million persons.