Princeton University Library

Articles and Databases

Biographical Sources

Core Resources
Combined index that identifies 13+million entries in hundreds of biographical sources. International coverage. Updated twice yearly.
Biography Index  (1946+)  
Links to 500,000 biographical entries in standard reference sources. Also lists bio coverage in contemporary magazines from 1984 to present. Offers multiple search criteria: name, race, ethnicity, gender, occupation, date, and keyword. Especially strong for US.
Biography Reference Bank  (Ancient times to present)  
Combines the in-depth, original profiles of Wilson Biographies Plus Illustrated, plus the periodicals coverage of Biography Index, full-text articles, page images, and abstracts from the complete range of Wilson databases (including biographical profiles, feature articles, interviews, essays, book reviews, performance reviews, speeches, or obituaries).
Useful for basic biographical information on 1+ million prominent living individuals from across the US. Some international coverage. Updated daily
World Biographical Index  (antiquity-present)  
Gives name, occupation, birth, and death dates for millions individuals who are treated in thousands of reference works. Cites the printed sources and the microfiche collections that reproduce the full entries.
World Who's Who  (current)  
Basic biographical data on more than 23,000 prominent living or recently deceased individuals from around the world.
Important Resources
Hundreds of biographical dictionaries and other sources in full text. Includes photographs and illustrations. Search by name, occupation, place of birth, birth and death dates, religion, gender, organization name.
An important biographical resource, the online version includes all articles published to date, along with access to the predecessors of the AKL, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis Zur Gegenwart (Thieme-Becker) and for the 20th century, Vollmer. Also includes the AKL's Bio-Bibliographical Index (A-Z), and the Kunstlerlexikon der Antike.
Searchable database containing biographical information of over 19,000 federal and state Judges. Also contains information on over 2600 federal and state courts, 52 detailed court profiles, and over 100 detailed judicial jurisdictional maps. Updated daily.
Biographical dictionary of the significant players in the physical, biological and related sciences. Each edition includes biographical entries on approximately 120,000 living scientists, providing birthdate; birthplace; field of specialty; education; honorary degrees; current position; professional and career information; awards; memberships; research information; and addresses for each entrant where available.
American National Biography  (17th Century+)  
Authoritative bios of more than 18,000 prominent Americans who are deceased. Updated monthly. Includes bibliographic data on publications by and about these individuals. Search by name or various characteristics including gender, ethnicity, occupation, dates.
China Vitae    
Detailed biographies of nearly 2500 Chinese leaders, searchable by name, institution, or location. Other tools allow identification of similarities in the backgrounds of officials and tracking of daily appearances of 200 of the most important officials.
Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography  (Classical antiquity to modern times)  
Thousands of biographies of deceased mathematicians and natural scientists from all regions and historical periods.
Provides biographies, bibliographies, literary criticism, and other information about authors of all nationalities, genres, and time periods, including living writers.
Biographical profiles of the important and influential persons of African American and/or black heritage of various nationalities.
Biographical profiles of the important and influential persons of Latino heritage who form the international Hispanic community.
Biographical information on important figures in today's musical arena, covering artists working in all genres of modern music, including rock, jazz, pop, rap, rhythm and blues, folk, New Age, country, gospel and reggae.
Biographical and career information on professionals currently working in the entertainment industry, including performers, choreographers, directors, technicians, writers, composers, producers, executives, designers, and critics.
Dictionary of Irish Biography  (Earliest times to 2002)  
Most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland. Contains signed biographical articles which describe and assess the careers of subjects in all fields including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.
Extensive biographical and critical essays on major authors from around the world. Search by name or ethnicity, genre, date, place, or literary movement.
Academic version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is no longer published in print format. For a list of all editions of the Britannica held by Princeton, see the History Resource Guide. Includes the Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Articles on artists in all visual media, worldwide. Also covers noted art historians, patrons, collectors, curators, and arts administrators. Links to illustrations. Updated quarterly.
Illustrated collection of over 57,000 authoritative biographies of people who shaped the history of Great Britain, from the 4th century BC to those who have died in the previous few years.
Biographical articles for composers, performers, librettists, conductors and others. Includes entries from Grove dictionaries of jazz and opera as well.
Provides brief information on corporate executives. Click on Companies, then use the Search Executives and Directors box.
Comprehensive, continually updated listing of world leaders.

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Last updated: September 14, 2012