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Biographical Research: Biography Research

This guide provides information for conducting biographical research online and at UWM libraries. It provides recommendations for search paths and search tools, and lists some pertinent collections.

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What is a Biography?

What is a Biography?

A biography is an account of the special and important events in a person's life. It should not be confused with the similar sounding term bibliography, which is a listing of books and articles on a topic. Biographies may be brief and cover only basic information about a person's life such as dates of birth and death, education and vocation. A biography may also be very detailed, and cover the cultural background, outstanding accomplishments, and historical significance of an individual.

Biographical sources cover both living and deceased persons, notable persons in particular countries, persons in specific occupations, celebrities, and civil and government leaders. It is helpful when searching for biographical information to know:

•Person's full name and correct spelling (for example: Smith, Smyth or Smythe)
•Date of birth
•Occupation or profession
•Date of death (when applicable)
•Nationality or country of residence

Quick Biography Info is a Wikipedia type system and everyone can edit biographies or even create their own. was established in 1997 and since then has grown into one of the largest biography sites on the planet.

Subject Guide

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Archives Department
UWM Libraries
Room W250