"There is properly no history,
Often when doing research you discover that you need research on a particular person.
Many famous people have book length biographies written about them which you can locate by simply searching the library catalog for the person as a subject.
Searching the catalog by subject
Sometimes a book-length biography is not available. There are a number of reference sources that contain references to biographical information available in various periodicals. One of the largest and most popular examples of this type of reference book is entitled: Current Biography.
Current Biography is published monthly and is cumulated in a bound edition at the end of the year. The aim of Current Biography is "to provide reference librarians, students, and researchers with objective, accurate, and well documented biographical articles about living leaders in all fields of human accomplishments the world over."
Current Biography takes a broad approach, selecting individuals who are popular living social figures.
Another essential resource covering American biography is the 24 volume set American National Biography published by Oxford University Press. CT213 .A68 1998 REFERENCE
There are also specialized biographies that focus on a person as part of a group, movement, period of history, and so on. Placing a person in context is very useful in understanding their importance to history, literature, social progress, science, from a unique perspective.
Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers
Biographical Dictionary of Modern American Educators
Continue on to the lesson on using Statistical Sources.