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Finding Biographies : What are the Types of Biographies ?

A guide on how to search for biographies of notable people, using books, websites and electronic databases on MyMonroe.

What are the Types of Biographies ?

Types of Biographies


A narrative of a person's life, written by, or as having been written by that person.


A history of a person’s life. It could be written by another author.


A narrative recollection of the writer's earlier experiences, especially those involving unusual people, places, or events.

Quick Google Search

Everyone loves Google.

It is okay to use a google search to find quick and easy information about anything, especially for biographies.

Feel free to use the search box below to retreive quick information.

*Quick Tip*

The first result will most likely be wikipedia. Wikipedia should NEVER be used as a one of your sources for a paper or even homework. If you find yourself looking at wikipedia anyway, scroll down to the bottom to "References" and use the sources that help them write the information regarding the topic.  

Print Book Sources


 These titles that can help you start your search for biographies; if you need additional print sources, use MOECAT .


The sources are divided into Reference and Circulation. 


Reference books are usually encylopedias and dictionaries. They contain specific facts, data, or other brief bits of information. These titles are for LIBRARY USE ONLY

 Circulation books can be checked out/ loaned to students. 

Books at Monroe College Library are arranged according to The Library of Congress Classification


Remember, its always good to have at least ONE BOOK SOURCE for research.  



Below are the most popular biographical subjects according to


These reference sources can help you kick off your search for biographies.

Rememeber these titles can only be used in the library.


Business Leaders

African Americans

American Indians








Popular Biographies

Some of our most popular biographies and autobiographies are listed below.

Do you want to read one of these books?

Check MOECAT to see if they are avaliable for checkout.  

(Login: User Name: Monroe College / No Password required)

Biography Websites..

Websites by Subject

Using websites is the quickest way to find information about a person.  These websites are divided into subjects. 

About African Americans

Fact Monster: African Americans

Great Black Heroes

About Criminal Justice Figures

About General and Public Figures

About Hispanics

About International Figures

About Inventors

About Musicians

About Nobel Prize Winners

Nobel Prize Winners

About Religious Figures

About People in Science

About Politics and Politicians

About Presidents

About Sports Figures

About Women

Electronic Databases


Searching for biographies using the online databases on MyMonroe:


Credo Reference

Public and Popular Biographies   

Hoover’s Academic

Business Biographies

Lexis Nexis

Political Biographies

  Literature Resource Center


World News Digest

Public and Political Biographies


Biography In Context

Biography in Context


1. Log on to

2. Click ‘research’.

3. Then select ‘articles and databases’.



4. In the 'database title/description' box, type biography in context.


5.  Then click 'find'.



6. Once you have selected the Biography in Context link, you will be asked to enter your New York Public Library card barcode




7. Type the person'a name in the 'person search' box; you can search for biographies by name, occupation, birth place or death place.


8.  Click on the 'people' tab to browse for a variety of people.



9. The 'people' tab allows you to search for biographies by subject and name.


Credo Reference

Credo Reference (General Biographies)

1. Select 'biographies' under 'use credo reference to find'.



2. In the 'search box' type the person's name.


3. Next, from the drop down menu select 'biographies'.


4. Then click 'search'.



5. The 'continue searching in' drop down menu allows you to search other online databases.


6. You can also narrow down your search by subject, entry type, person and publication date.


Hoovers (D&B)

Hoovers Academic (D&B) (Companies and Industry Figures)

1. Select the 'people' tab.


2. In the 'keyword' search box, type the person's name.


3. Then, click 'search'.



4. The people results page allows you to narrow your search by job title, location, and industry.



Lexis Nexis

Lexis Nexis Academic (Public Figures)

1. Click 'Subject Areas' under the 'General Searching' tab. 


2. Then, select 'People'. 




3. Type the person’s last name.

   * If you know the first name, you may also type it into the last name search box.*


4. The ‘keywords’ search box allows you to add adjectives about the person to help narrow your search.


5. Then, select the sources you'd like to search:

      The Biographical References and Directories group file contains biographical references and directories.
               *Congressional Member Profiles are excluded*
        The Entertainment Biographies group file contains celebrity biographies.
         The Political Biographies group file contains biographical information on political figures.
         The Marquis Who's Who Biographies Database contains active and inactive biographies from the following
         Who's Who publications.
         The Recent News Stories group file contains news stories from the all-newsgroup file that have a publication
         date 2 years old or less.


6.  Then click 'search'.

Literature Resource Center

Literature Resource Center (Author Biographies)

1. Type the person's name in the 'find' search box.


2. Next select 'biographies'.


3. Then click 'search'.




4. If you would like to search for a specific author click 'person search'.


5. The limiters will help narrow down your search for a specific author.


6. Then click 'search'.

Subject Guide

Marietta Briguglio

World News Digest

World News Digest

  1. Go to World News Digest
  2. Click 'More' next to the search box.
  3. Under 'search the following types' select 'key biographies'.
  4. Then type your person's name in the search box.


If you would like to view all biographies World News Digest has to offer:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the World News Digest page.
  2. Under Featured biographies select 'View all Biographies".