Person names links
Repeating research information in the guidelines:
- Merriam-Webster’s Biographical Dictionary
- Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
- Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica
- Academic American Encyclopedia
- The Encyclopedia Americana
- Encyclopedia of World Biography (a Gale product)
- ****Possibly include note about World Biographical Index (Saur online product) here.
- Getty Institute, Union List of Artist Names On Line.
- Artnet Magazine online site.
- The Encyclopedia of Islam. (print and online encyclopedia)
- The Encyclopedia Iranica. Print or available online.
- New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
- Dictionary of African Historical Biography
- Dictionary of Hispanic Biography (a Gale product).
- ****Also 3 other sources I have recommended.
- Women in World History (Gale product).
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
National library catalogs and Library of Congress Name Authorities (LCNA).
National library catalogs are a good source for information about persons from other countries. However, remember that library catalogs are used for a singular purpose--to find materials in a very large library--so they have limitations. Typically the names are not as tightly controlled as Gale names, so forms of entry may be suspect. Also, library catalogs tend to be strong in author/illustrator/photographer/creator names, but less careful about other types of names.
- Links to many of the world’s national library catalogs.
Persons in the current news.
Newspapers available through InfoTrac:
- Washington Post
- New York Times
- Wall Street Journal
- Los Angeles Times.
Online news sources:
More specialized sources:
Library of Congress Name Authorities
Useful sources, not necessarily definitive but useful in some cases:
Links to articles/info about names:
Other Sources notes.
Nancy Mulvany recommends Encyclopedia Britannica, Academic American Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia Americana as the best general reference sources for names. She also recommends Webster’s New Biographical Dictionary and sources such as Who’s Who (series), New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia Judaica, and The Oxford Classical Dictionary for more specific subject areas.
Chicago recommends Merriam Webster’s Biographical Dictionary or Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as good sources for names.
Print/online sources Gale should probably consider purchasing:
- Encyclopaedia of Islam. This one comes up a lot, it definitely is considered an important source. Brill Academic Publishers Print, I think it’s 12 volumes. (At least 11, then there is an index and I’m not sure if that’s a separate volume or not) $9996 US. Online: institutional license, $1500. 30-day free trial available.
- The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
29 volumes. This one also comes up a lot, as the premiere place for info about musicians. According to its publisher, this book is no longer available. However it looks like it is available through Amazon.com. (Although there are a couple different versions of it, and maybe some other things with the ‘grove’ name that are unrelated. Should be careful here.) The original price from the publisher was $2200. Also available online as part of the Grove Music Online database. They don’t list a price on the Web page, you have to contact them for a quote. But they do offer a free trial.
- Another source of note for info about the Arab world is Encyclopaedia Iranica.
This is published through Columbia University and seems to be free on the Web. It includes information about Iran but also those countries that speak/spoke Iranian languages, including “Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Baluchistan, Kurdistan, the Pathan regions of Pakistan, Parsi communities of India, and Ossetic and Talish regions of Caucasus” (according to their Web site). However it is important to note that living persons are not included in this reference source. Only 11 of the planned volumes have been published in print. (They expect to finish with between 25 and 30 volumes.) While the entries of Encyclopedia Iranica are available online, their editorial policies are not.
- A book you might consider buying for the reference collection: Dictionary of African Historical Biography. By Mark Lipschutz and Kent Rasmussen. U of California Press. 2nd edition, 1986. This book is out of print but it’s still possible to get it.
- There is a big general biographical source out there that I should tell you about. I’m not sure it’s really necessary, considering all the access to American biographies that Gale has already, but I thought I would at least mention it. American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 1999. 24 volumes, 17,500 persons. $795. Also available in electronic form, although you have to contact them to get a price quote. 30-day free trial is available. This title was very well reviewed when it came out. Interesting side note: when it first came out the print version cost $2500. That price has gone down quite a bit!
- Someone there at Gale should check out the usefulness of the World Biographical Index, which is an online product. It requires a paid subscription, but happily since it is a Saur product you should be able to get it. This site is probably an index to sources about people, so I’m not sure how useful it will be by itself. But worth checking.
- Latin American biography: I couldn’t find one good, single source for general Latin American biography. However, I did find three that seem to be well-known, and working together they probably would do some good. They are:
- Latin American and Caribbean Artists of the Modern Era: A Biographical Dictionary of More Than 12,700 Persons. by Steve Shipp. 916 pages. MacFarland & Company, 2003. $115. This includes artists both living and dead. Apparently Argentina is best-represented, but the book has info on artists from 39 countries.
- Biographical Dictionary of Latin American and Caribbean Political Leaders. Robert J. Alexander, editor. Greenwood Press, 1988. 519 pages. $137.95. Covers persons in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Notable Twentieth-Century Latin American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press, 2000. 352 pages. $70.95. This book includes only 72 entries, however the Booklist review says that these women are often not represented in other sources. It includes only women who wrote/worked in Spanish or Portuguese.
- Women biography. It might be worthwhile to get the 3-volume set Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary, Belknap Press, 1974. Available through Amazon for $34.00. And its 1-volume update, Notable American women: The modern period : a biographical dictionary. Belknap Press, 1980. Available through Amazon for very cheap if you buy a used copy. But again, Gale already has so much access to info about Americans, I’m not sure if this is really necessary.
- Japanese biography. There is a CD-ROM product, available through International Society for Educational Information (Japan), that includes three sources about Japanese historical figures. The three sources are Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Literature, Biographical Dictionary of Japanese History, and Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Art. The CD-ROM is $30. All these books are out of print, but it is still possible to buy them.
- Chinese biograpy. There is a Saur book that might be useful. It is out of print now, but it may be lurking in Gale shelves somewhere: Who Was Who in the People's Republic of China. 1998, 4th edition.
- South Asia. Biographical Dictionary of South Asia, edited by Syed Razi Wasti, 1980. 511 pages. This is also out of print and, believe it or not, not available through Amazon.com. Its publisher is Publishers United, which is based in Lahore, India. It might be difficult to get a copy of this.
- South Asia. Another option is the Biographical Dictionary of Greater Asia, edited by Henry Scholberg. This is 406 pages. It covers persons from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. This is $78 through Amazon.com.