Biography & Genealogy Databases

Best Bets

  • Provides access to historical U.S. and international documents and photos, local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s. The Library Edition of Ancestry.com has fewer personalized functions and options than the versions available to private subscribers.

  • Citations to biographical material on women and men from all time periods, geographic locations, and fields of endeavor. Coverage: Varies by title.

  • Despite its name, covers scholarly sources from the 12th century to early 20th century.  Includes Earl Gregg Swem's Virginia Historical Index; Poole's Index to Periodical Literature; Niles' Register; American Memory; links to images in ArtSTOR; plus many more. Citations to magazine articles, books, newspapers, patents, and US/UK government documents, and images. Coverage: 1106-1930 (varies by source).

  • Biographical information on African Americans. Includes Chadwyck-Healey's microform collection: Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790-1950, obituary files, slave narrative collections, photographs, and illustrations; and the index to that collection, Black biography, 1790-1950.

  • Genealogical resources on New York and New England from the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

  • Biographical articles of men and women who helped shape the nation. All eras and walks of life. Coverage: varies.

  • Provides access to historical U.S. and international documents and photos, local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s. The Library Edition of Ancestry.com has fewer personalized functions and options than the versions available to private subscribers.

  • Citations to biographical material on women and men from all time periods, geographic locations, and fields of endeavor. Coverage: Varies by title.

  • Digitized reference books (encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, thesauri, atlases, quotation dictionaries, handbooks, etc.) in many subjects.  Searchable full text across all volumes. Date coverage: Varies by title. Access available to unlimited users.

  • Biographical reference for deceased women and men notable in British history. Coverage: 400BC-present.

  • Jewish civilization from its historical origins to the present. Journal and newspaper articles, books, and biographies. Coverage: 1922-present.

  • Literature criticism, biographies, work & topic overviews, reviews, and full text of many literary works. Coverage: Varies by subject.

  • US history and US women's history. Primary documents, books, images, scholarly essays, book reviews, web site reviews, the biographical dictionary Notable American Women, and all publications of local, state, and national commissions on the status of women since 1963. Coverage: 1600-2000.