Biographies

General Suggestions

1. If you need basic facts about a person, e.g., "When was Napoleon born?", check general encyclopedias, such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Canadian Encyclopedia

2. If you are unable to find simple biographical information in general encyclopedias, or you need more information than provided, check one of the specialized biographical reference books listed on this page.

3. For highly detailed information, search OMNI on the library's homepage for books on the person.  Here are some suggested searches:

  • Biography AND canada
  • Albert Einstein AND biography
  • Economists AND biography
  • Artists AND biography
  • Women AND biography

4. It is important to remember that biographical information may not be available for all individuals. In these cases, information about an author can sometimes be found by checking the preface or introduction of an author's work for scholarly background and academic achievements. Perform an author search in OMNI by typing in the last name followed by the first name.

Databases | General and International Biography | Canadian Biography | Historical | Women | Arts and Humanities | Social Sciences | Science and Engineering | Obituaries Autobiography, Nicknames, Eponyms, Pseudonyms | eBooks | Quotations | Websites

Databases

Specialized Biographical Reference Books

General and International Biography

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Canadian Biography

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Historical Biography

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Women

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Arts and Humanities

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Social Sciences

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Science and Engineering

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Obituaries

Note: When a famous person dies, newspapers treat the event as a news story and you can find these by searching in our full-text newspaper databases.  Regular obituaries or death notice are considered paid advertisements and are therefore not included.

Some historical news databases have obituaries for non-famous people as well as famous ones.

Tip: whether you are searching for a famous person or a not famous person, it would be easiest to find the obituary if you have the date of death or even the month or year of death.

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Autobiography / Nicknames / Eponyms / Pseudonyms

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Ebooks

Do a search for "biography" in the following eBook sources

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Quotations

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Websites

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Content last updated: August 4, 2020