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Biography: Getting Started

Trustworthy biographical data is a cornerstone of research, whether one needs to place a person in historical and cultural context, verify birth date and place, or introduce a speaker to an audience.

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Introduction

Before you start your research, check the correct spelling of the person’s name.

While you research, keep in mind that all sources can contain bias; the best biographical information will be signed by an author and will provide bibliographic citations for source material.

Research Questions:

  • What do you already know about the person?
  • How much information do you want to find about the person?
  • What is the person's profession or notoriety?
  • How well known is the person?
  • Is the person’s nationality, ethnic background, gender, or affiliation significant?
  • Is the person living or deceased?  
  • What dates are significant for this person?
  • Do you want autobiography, memoir, or interviews in addition to biographical sources?

www.biography.com

Q:  How do I attribute biography.com when I use information from biographies on the site for a class project or for publication?

A:  Biography.com includes citation examples in multiple formats at the end of each lengthy biography.  

Subject Guide

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Jane Suda
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Contact:
Rose Hill Campus
Walsh Family Library
Room 128

jsuda@fordham.edu
718-817-3587
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Reference & Assessment Librarian

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Jeannie Hoag
Contact:
Rose Hill Campus
Walsh Family Library, Room 127
jhoag@fordham.edu
718-817-3555
Website
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Reference & Instruction Department

Reference & Instruction Department
Fordham University Libraries


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