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Finding Biographical Information on Authors

Finding biographical information on a specific author.

Find articles from specialized encyclopedias, journals, magazines & newspapers in the library databases

  1. Choose Advanced Search.

  2. Next to Search for, type in the author's full name. Use the drop-down box next to it (in) to select Person-By or About. (The default is set to Keyword.)

  3. Scroll down through More Options and select by content type. Use the drop-down menu to select Biographies.

  4. Continue scrolling to the bottom of the page and click Search.

TIP: You may also want to limit your search by language to English (useful if you are researching an author who wrote in a language other than English, like the French author Colette).

  1. From our A-Z Databases page, select EBSCO Choose Databases menu. (You can do this quickly by clicking on the letter "E" and scrolling down to EBSCO Choose Databases menu.) You may be prompted to sign in with your My Reynolds login and password.
  2. Select both the Academic Search Complete and MasterFILE Premier databases. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Continue.
  3. Using the Advanced Search, type the "author's last name, first name" within quotation marks. If your author has a common last name and first name, you may want to include his or her birth year-death year (e.g., "wright, richard" AND 1908-1960).

TIP: You can scroll down to limit your search to Full Text. You can also limit your search by Publication Type (e.g., "Biography"), Document Type (i.e., "Obituary"), and Language (i.e., "English").

  1. Try an Advanced Search.

  2. Type  the author's full name in the 1st search window. Leave the full-text menu on the right as is.

  3. You may want to narrow your search by item/publication type.  Scroll down to the Narrow Results section and checkmark the box next to Article from the Item Type menu.
  4. You may also want to narrow your search by discipline. Scroll down to Journal Filter. Then, under Narrow by discipline and/or journal section, checkmark the box next to Language & Literature.

  5. Continue scrolling to the bottom and click on Submit Advanced Search.

TIP: You can also narrow your search by Language (especially helpful when you are researching an author whose works appeared in a language other than English, i.e., Colette).

For more help, check out the JSTOR Support page (top right).


  1. Perform a basic search.
  2. Type the author's full name in the search window.

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.

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.