Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Biographical Sources

Biographical Sources workshop presented by Emily Horning and Sue Lorimer, May 20, 2005. Handout from Manon on AACR2 22.1B, LCRI 22.1B, regarding "artists, cartographers, pre-1800 authors and composers; persons not primarily known as authors."

Sue Lorimer starts off with General and Worldwide Sources. The first one listed is the excellent, huge German-language resource: Lobles, Jean-Pierre. IBN: Index bio-bibliographicus notorum hominum. Osnabruck: Biblio Verlag, 1972-92. Pt. B; Pt. C, v.1-58 (in progress) in Starr Reference Room. Also, one of the best, especially for older names: Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne (Michaud). Nouv. ed. … 1843-65. 45v. Now to primilarly online sources: Biography Resource Center, very useful, indexing ca. 100 biographical sources, almost exclusively published by Gale or one of their subsidiearies, (almost all including full-text?). Good place to start, but keep in mind only 100 sources. Biography and geneology master index great, but not full text. Biography Resource Center indexes ca. 150 periodicals culled from "other" Wilson databases; Goes back to 1940 in print; recent years online. World Biographical Index, Sauer publication, since 1982, series of biogr archives, arr. by parts of the world; through beginning of 20th century; microfilmed all the sources, rearranging all entries, so that all those fo a given person appear together on the microfilm set. Still purchasing new sets. One on Christendom costs $11,000, typical. Yale has every set (= hundreds of thousands of dollars). But now full-text is available online. One-time charge of 5,000 will grant yale its access, plus 500/year for access to each artchive. So online index will be online at Yale,but otherwise, Yale sticks with its investment, and only offers the full text in microfiche. American National biography, all 40 volumes are now online. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography also online. Will link reader to earlier (original) entry, so no need to go to printed edition. Last one: Algemeine deutsche Bibliographie (ADB), also online, (equiv to American National Biography), along with Neue deutsche Biographie (NDB).

Emily focuses on works that identify obscure, lesser-known, minor figures, mostly in print resources. (See handout). By profession ... for Arts: Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon. "Tremendously useful source": even for people only known for signing initials on manuscript, e.g., engraver on printed work, etc. but keep in mind that artists, etc., names need to be est. from form of name in language of counrty of residence. Biogrpahical dictionary of actors etc... and ompaion Dictionary of Actors and of other persons ... 1929. Joyce Bellamy's Dictionary of labour biography, 1790-present (excludes living persons). Good military source: List of officiersof the navy .... by Callahan. 1901. Who's who in American politics, good for identifying minor political figures from state and local governments, party chairpersons, etc. RELIGION: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirechenlexikon, 2004, http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/, also in print at Divinity library. In German. Good for minor figures in European and North American church history. Not all entries are available online. They are also looking for contributors to fill in gaps. Jacob Rader Marcus's Series Episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, traces church figures going back to St. Peter. Yale copy (of this and two other of Marcus's books to which it was bound) has been lost for a long time. Rare Book Team has copy though. Judisches Biographisches Archiv [microform] SML, Starr, Fiche B3902. Consice dictionary of American Jewish Biography has 24,000 brief biographies.

Oxford Reference Online-->Dictionary of Scientists.

Time Period: Who's who in the classical world (online) Biographical arvhicve of the Middle Agaes (BAMA) [microform]

Giant full-text databases, .e.g, Early american imprints, helpful for finding things like sermons delovered on occasion of someone's death. Ability to search by *type* of material, e.g., eulogies. (Emily loves to show this tool to students for this reason.) So, good source for biogr information, even though doesn't seem like it, perhaps, at first-glance. Same goes for obituaries. Newspaper archive full-text; e.g., NYT back to 1881. Printed indexes may be easier to use than the ones online. Same goes for London Times.

Sheahy's Guide to Reference Books: includes lists of biography resources. Kept at reference desk. Eventually to come out online. Bob Baily edited most recent (11th) edition.

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