For basic facts about a person (e.g.,"When was Napoleon born?"):
Can’t find biographical information in general encyclopedias or need more information? Check:
- One of the general sources listed on this page
- The specialized biographical reference books listed on the other tabs in this guide
Can’t find the person you are looking for or get enough information from a biographical reference book? Check:
- One of the biographical master indexes listed on this page. These guide you to books, periodical articles or other reference sources. Please note that sometimes you will be referred to another index.
For highly detailed information:
- Search UToledo’s online library catalog for books on the person:
- Perform a subject search by typing the person's last name followed by their first name, e.g., Whitman, Walt
- Execute the search and look for the subheading --Biography. The complete heading in this example is: Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 – Biography
- You can also use the UToledo catalog to search for the titles of books and periodicals found in the biographical master indexes
If UToledo does not own a title you want:
- Use the OhioLINK Library Catalog to directly borrow books from other college libraries in Ohio. Books arrive within three to five business days
- If the book you need is not available through OhioLINK, or if you need a periodical article that UToledo does not own, fill out an online interlibrary loan (ILLiad) form.
- There is generally no charge for this service
- The library may need two to three weeks to get the item you need
- For assistance with the library catalog, OhioLINK, or interlibrary loan forms, consult a reference librarian at the Information/Reference Desk.
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 the library catalog by typing in the last name followed by the first name