Biographical dictionaries are specialized biographical reference works. Geographical coverage tends to be limited, and quality and length of articles vary from title to title. Online biographical dictionaries include full-text searching and hyper-linked cross-references.
Online Biographical Dictionaries
Print Biographical Dictionaries
Ancestry Library Edition (ProQuest)
A vast collection of genealogical data which traces the history of millions of individuals going in some cases as far back as 1300. The collection consists of census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more.
Enter the name of a person as a subject search
to locate biographies in the library’s collection via the online catalog. Unfortunately, biographies are not classified separately from other types of works about a person, and it can be challenging to find the biographies of a famous person among a large set of search results. In such cases you may prefer to first consult one of the library’s biographical dictionaries to identify titles of recommended biographies or to consult with a librarian.
Subject search: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Subject search: Wanamaker John, 1838-1922
Subject search: Benedict XVI, Pope, 1927-
On the other hand, it is comparatively easy to find biographies for classes of people since in this case the term biography
is a part of the subject classification.
Subject search: Nurses and biography
Subject search: Popes and biography
Subject search: "Nobel prize" and biography
Please note that the subject autobiographies
is used exclusively for theoretical works about autobiographies. An author search
is the best way to locate published autobiographies. The library's biographical dictionaries generally identify published autobiographies.WorldCat (OCLC)
WorldCat is a catalog of library collections worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.WorldCat Step-by-Step
is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this resource.E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary LoanInterlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The E-ZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. E-ZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than traditional interlibrary loans.
The library's online collections of newspapers and magazines can often be limited to obituaries. Go to the Advanced Search interface and look for document type limits. More detailed information can be found in each database description above.
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