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Finding Biographical Information on Authors

Finding biographical information on a specific author.

What is a biography?

A biography is an account of the special and important events in a person's life (not to be confused with bibliography, which is a listing of books and articles on a topic). Biographies may be brief and cover only basic information about a person's life such as dates of birth and death, education and vocation. A biography may also be very detailed, and cover the cultural background, outstanding accomplishments, and historical significance of an individual. Biographical sources cover living and deceased persons, notable persons in particular countries, persons in specific occupations, celebrities, and civil and government leaders.

It is helpful when searching for biographical information to know:

  • The person's full name and correct spelling (for example: Smith, Smyth or Smythe)
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death (when applicable)
  • Nationality or country of residence
  • Occupation or profession

General Search Tips

  • To search for information about the author's life, include the search term, biography.
  • If an author's last name is common, include both the first and last name in your search (e.g., stephen king)

Related Guides

Off-Campus Access

If you click on any Reynolds Libraries database link (including direct links to specific articles, eBooks and videos) from off-campus, you will be prompted with a Virginia's Community Colleges login screen. Use your My Reynolds username & multifactor authentication (MFA) to access any of the library databases from off-campus. 

  1. From the Virginia's Community Colleges login screen, enter your username then click on the Go button.
  2. When prompted, enter your Authorizing PIN number on your mobile phone.

For more detailed information on accessing resources from Reynolds Libraries databases from off-campus, click here.

If you cannot login from off campus, email or call 804.523.5211 - or - 523-5220.

ProQuest Central eBooks Note: If you are accessing a ProQuest Central eBook from ON or OFF campus, you will be prompted with a Virginia's Community Colleges login screen. If you are accessing a ProQuest Central eBook from the library catalog, you will also be prompted to select your institution, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.