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Historical Biography: Biographical Databases

Learn about the lives and deeds of a broad range of historical persons

ANB Online

American National Biography Online logo

American National Biography (or ANB) is the standard reference work for finding credible information about the lives of significant persons in American history.

Need help choosing a person to research? Click the Search tab on the ANB homepage. Now click the "complete list" link halfway down the page -- just after "Occupations & Realms of Renown." Select from a list of categories that include Animal Rights Activists, Black Nationalists, Gay Rights Activists, Social Reformers, Sports and Games, Suffragists, and many others.


Use the tabs above to find information about the lives and deeds of a broad range of historical persons.

Explanation of annotations listed on this guide: If a book title is hyperlinked just click for full-text, online access. If a title is not hyperlinked it is available only in print.

Click print after book title to retrieve location (usually Paley Library or Library Depository), call number, and circulation status (checked in or out).

Example: The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300: A Biographical Dictionary. c2002 [print]

If a title is available both online (in this case in two databases) and in print it is noted in brackets after the title:

Example: Who's Who in the Roman World. c2001 [netLibrary | Credo Reference | print]

Biographical Databases

The following Temple databases provide information about a wide range of historical and contemporary persons. Each allows the researcher to simultaneously search across multiple reference works. Mouse over a database title for more information. Items in bold are my preferred biographical databases.

Guide Author

Rebecca Lloyd
Paley Library
Room 319