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Recommended Databases

Subject indexes such as MLA and Historical Abstracts can be used to find citations to biographical information found in newspapers, journals, and books. For biographical information on authors, Gale Literary Sources is a good starting point.

MLA International Bibliography

Subjects within the MLA International Bibliography consist of literature, language and linguistics, creative writing, English, folklore, film, foreign languages and literatures, literary theory & criticism, theatre, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included.

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Use MLA International Bibliography for citations to the monthly periodical Biography, which is a good source for contemporary biographies.
Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) focusing on the 15th century forward, including art history, world history, military history, women's history, history of education, foreign languages and literatures, and more.

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At the main LexisNexis page, choose "People" for short full text bios on politicians, business executives, etc.
Biography Reference Bank

A biography database of in-depth profiles from Current Biography and World Authors, the periodical coverage of Biography Index, and specialist content from Junior Authors & Illustrators.

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Biography Reference Center

A comprehensive collection of full-text biographies on popular and heavily-researched figures. Users can locate biographies of interest by browsing key categories, including occupation, nationality, publication and more than 30 genre categories including actors, artists, athletes, authors, current world leaders, explorers, scientists and many others.

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Biography and Genealogy Master Index

Biography and Genealogy Master Index indexes current, easily accessible references sources, as well as important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world. The total number of biographical sketches exceeds 17 million citations and points to more than 2000 publications, covering over 5 million people. The database contains names, birth/ death years, and bibliographic references to books containing material on that person and an indication of which books or articles include a portrait.

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Biography in Context

Biography In Context is built on a foundation of more than 650,000 biographical entries covering international figures from all time periods and areas of study. It provides coverage of the most searched and studied people and includes over 4,500 portal pages on contemporary and historical figures. Authoritative reference content is offered alongside videos, audio selections, images, primary sources, and magazine and journal articles from hundreds of major periodicals and newspapers.

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Gale Literary Sources

Presents industry-leading literature content, including criticism, biographies, reference articles, reviews, primary sources, plot analysis, explication, and multimedia. Up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world. Searches across Gale Virtual Reference Library, Literature Criticism Online and Something About the Author Online.

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ProQuest Learning: Literature

Full-text works of poetry, prose and drama, and secondary sources such as author biographies, literary criticisms, essays, reviews and interviews. Designed with schools and public libraries in mind.

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History Study Center

A collection of primary and secondary sources on global history from ancient times to the present day. Contents include reference books, essays, journal articles, historical newspaper and magazine articles, maps, rare books, government documents, transcripts of historical speeches, images and video clips. 

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Search the Library Catalog

Books and print materials such as government documents can be found using the Library Catalog.

Search by:

Using the Library Catalog

Suggested SUBJECT searches:

  • "[Last name] [first name or initial]" of the person you are researching
  • "biography"
  • "biographical films"
  • "genealogy"
  • "portraits"

Suggested KEYWORD searches:

  • To do the broadest possible search to find items by and about the person, do a KEYWORD search with the word near between the first and last names.
  • "biography and dictionaries and artists" will give you sources with biographical information for the broad group of "artists."
  • "biography and authors and american" - source with information on American authors.
  • "biography and france and 19th century" - biographies about the French in the 19th century.
  • "encyclopedias and [your chosen subject area]" - for example, encyclopedias and art.

Contact Librarian

Portrait of Lisa Coats
Lisa
Coats
Humanities Librarian
Phone Number: 
Office: 
RL2055

Liaison Librarian to Creative Writing, English, Film Studies, Philosophy and Religion, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages and Cultures

Interlibrary Loan

If we do not have the full-text of the articles, or a book you need, fill out the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form and request it. This is a free service for students, faculty, and staff. 

ILL page: http://library.uncw.edu/ill

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