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Biographical Research: Home

Use this guide to start you research for biographical information about an individual.

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Biography Research Guide

Welcome to the Biography Research Guide!

"Biography: ...usually a written history of a person's life."

from: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.

This guide will help you get started finding resources on the individual you have chosen to research. Use the tabs across the top to get to specific kinds of items.


When choosing an individual to research and write about, choose a subject who is:

  • Interesting to you because of his or her accomplishments, or achievements in adverse circumstances.
  • Contributions to society, culture, knowledge,
  • Brilliance, talent, etc.,
  • But most importantly, and for whom there are adequate resources available either here or through our interlibrary loan program.

The reason for these two cautions is:

  1. You may be researching your chosen individual for weeks and if you are not really interested, it will get boring; and;
  2. It is difficult to write a paper on someone about whom very little is known and not much material is available. So, while you may admire your Uncle Joe, unless he is famous or well-known for something, there may be very little written material about him.

The only way you can know if there is material available to support research into your chosen topic is to do a little preliminary research before you make your final decision.

Ask a Librarian

For further help, please contact the library's Reference Department. You may:

* Call us at (413) 755-4549 during library hours, or come in to the Library in Building 27 of the STCC campus.

* Ask a librarian by e-mail. Please include your name and e-mail address so we can back to you as quickly as possible. Our goal is to respond within 48 hours.