BiographiesBy age 12, Thomas Edison, the inventor of the phonograph had lost most of his hearing. Abraham Lincoln, who became one of America's most revered Presidents, received very little formal schooling. What made these two men get beyond their handicaps and change the course of history? Biographies help us understand the events and contexts behind the people who shape our lives. Whether you read biographies for pleasure or they are part of a school project, use the following resources to locate information about people.


Books are generally the most comprehensive source of information about a person's life. Take a few minutes to look up the author and their expertise. It also helps to know whether a biography is authorized. Authorized biographies are often written with the approval of the subject. Search our catalog for books about people by typing in the name of the person in the "Subject" search.


Our collection of over 400 research eBooks can be searched online. These books can range from biographical dictionaries to special encyclopedias covering people and their histories. A great advantage of our eBook collection is the ability to search across multiple titles with a list of results that can provide different vantage points.


Use specialized databases to search for biographies within specific fields. For example, use Facts on File - Science Online for biographies of scientists. Bloom's Literary Reference includes author and poet biographies. Facts on File - Modern World History contains biographies of historical figures. The advantage to this type of resource is that it will provide related material, including timelines, videoes, and diagrams to help you understand the ideas and events behind the person you are researching. Visit our Online Resources page to locate more subject-based databases.