Biographical Dictionaries

  • American National Biography Online
    Biographical resource on more than 18,000 people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online
    50,000 specially-written signed biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of the British past, from the earliest times to the end of the year 2000.
  • Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia
    17 volumes, available in print only.
    This set covers many women that are not listed in any other major biographical dictionaries.
  • Current Biography Plus Illustrated
    23,000 biographies and obituaries of artists, politicians, business people, journalists, actors, writers, sports figures, scientists, and other people prominent in the news that have appeared in Current Biography Yearbook since 1940.
  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index
    Indexes current, readily available reference sources, as well as the most important retrospective works, that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world.


The library has a large collection of print and online reference sources. Browse the history e-references list or ask for recommended titles. Below is a small selection of titles that focus on gender and women.



Diaries, Autobiographies, Letters ...

Alternatively, search the Library's catalog or WorldCat to locate published diaries, autobiographies or letters. Use subject terms such as correspondence, personal narrative, diaries, or sources. Consult the Library's Primary Sources Research Guide for more detailed instructions.

Don't foget that many of the Library's digital collections such as Sabin Americana, Early American Imprints, and Early English Books Online, to name but a few, include a wealth of published autobiographies, letters, and diaries.


  • Falvey's Catalog
    Keyword and subject searches in the Library's catalog are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets such as topic, era, language or region. Facets are located on the right hand side of the results screen.
    Examples of Library of Congress subjects:
    Subject: Women - Suffrage - Great Britain - History
    Subject: Pankhurst
    Author: Pankhurst, Emmeline
    Subject: Biography as a literary form
    Subject: Autobiography
    Subject: Women - Biography - History and criticism
  • WorldCat
    Books that are not owned by the Library can be found via WorldCat. WorldCat is an online catalog that includes the collections of most U.S. libraries as well as a large number of libraries abroad. Titles owned by Falvey Memorial Library are tagged, those not held by Falvey can be requested through interlibrary loan with the Borrow from another library link. WorldCat uses the same Library of Congress subject headings as the Library's catalog. 
  • Dissertations & Theses Full Text
    Index and abstracts of U.S. dissertations with full text for most dissertations submitted after 1997. Ph.D. dissertations in history generally include detailed bibliographies with references to hard to find primary sources.
  • E-Z Borrow and Interlibrary Loan
    Interlibrary loan is available for books and journals that are not owned by Falvey. EZ-Borrow is generally faster than interlibrary loan, because it relies on a local library network. EZ-Borrow can be used for books that the Library owns, but that are currently checked out by somebody else.

Journal Articles

  • America: History & Life
    Your guide to the contents of scholarly journals, historical magazines and dissertations. This database indexes scholarly journals concerned with the history of America (North and South). The FindIt button links to the full text of the articles in the Library's collection as well as to an interlibrary loan form. Interlibrary loan can only be used for those journals to which the Library does not have a subscription. It can take up to a week to process an interlibrary loan request.
  • Historical Abstracts
    This database indexes articles published in scholarly history journals. Please note that Historical Abstracts does not cover ancient and medieval history. U.S., Canadian and Latin American history are excluded as well.
    There is substantial overlap for the more theoretical articles on biography as a literary form and autobiography. Both indexes can be searched simultaneously via the Choose Databases link at the top of the search screen.
  • GenderWatch
  • Humanities Full Text
    Indexes and abstracts articles in more than 300 periodicals in archaeology, art , classics, film, folklore, journalism, linguistics, music, the performing arts, philosophy, religion, world history and world literature.

The library has a large collection of primary sources in digital and print format. The Gerritsen Collection for Women's History Online, 1543-1945 is an outstanding resource for women's history. It includes books, journals and pamphlets. Feel free to ask for advice on how to find primary sources for your topic or consult the Primary Sources Research Guide.

Make an appointment to meet with Jutta

I am happy to meet with you at any time, in person, by phone, or virtually via our chat service.

You can also email me directly.