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Linguistics: Biographies

Example of biographical resource

Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent [Paperback]

Robert F. Barsky 

(Author) The MIT Press (July 10, 1998)

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Edward Sapir: Appraisals of his life and work (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and History of Linguistic Science. Series III, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, V. 36) [Hardcover]

Konrad Koerner (Author), Koerner (Editor)

John Benjamins Publishing Co. (September 5, 2000)

General literary biographies

The following are Yale resources in General literary biography, so don't miss them:

 

Dictionary of literary biography. Print version: 1- 1978- Detroit: Gale Research. Paper version: Bass Library, Reference collection, PN451 D53+ Oversize.

 

Biography index. Bronx, N.Y. : H.W. Wilson, c1997- Print version: SML, Starr Main Reference Room, Z5301 .B5 (LC).

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Additional resources in print:

 

Dictionnaire biographique des auteurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays [par] Laffont-Bompiani. Paris, S.E.D.E. [1957-58]. LSF- PN41 D52

 

European authors, 1000-1900 : a biographical dictionary of European literature / edited by Stanley J. Kunitz and Vineta Colby. New York : Wilson, 1967. LSF - Ref PN451 K86

 

European writers / William T.H. Jackson, editor, George Stade, editor in chief. New York: Scribner, [1983-1991]. SML, Starr Main Reference Room (Non-Circulating). PN501 E9 1983+ Oversize.

 

World authors, 1900-1950 / editors, Martin Seymour-Smith, Andrew Kimmens. New York : H.W. Wilson, 1996. SML, Starr Main Reference Room, PN451 W3 1996

 

World authors, 1950-1970; a companion volume to Twentieth century authors, edited by John Wakeman. Editorial consultant: Stanley J. Kunitz. New York, Wilson, 1975. LSF-PN451 W3

 

World authors, 1975-1980 / editor, Vineta Colby. New York : Wilson, 1985. SML, Starr Main Reference Room. PN451 W3 1985

 

World authors, 1980-1985 / editor, Vineta Colby. New York : H.W. Wilson Co., 1991. SML, Stacks, LC Classification. PN451 W3 1991.

 

World authors, 1985-1990 / edited by Vineta Colby. New York ; Dublin : H.W. Wilson, c1995. SML, Stacks, LC Classification. PN451 W3 1995

Yale databases for biographies

Biographies are not central resources in the field of Linguistics.  However, if you would like to know where to find reference resources for bibliographies (for example when you want to know about Chomsky's life), here you can find some recommendations.

 

The Yale Library has several databases where you can find reference resources for literary and general biography.  Look at the following:

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Databases for literary biographies

 

Gale Literary Index

An index to Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select (CLC Select) and Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB), which contai in-depth information on the lives and writings of nearly 100,000 authors along with critical reaction to their works. 

Other Versions:
Contemporary Authors: SML Reference, Z1224 +C654 (LC); Z1224 +C66 (LC)
Dictionary of Literary Biography: SML Reference, PN451 D534X 1984+ Oversize
Contemporary Literary Criticism: LSF- click "Place Requests" for delivery to any Yale library, PN771 C59+ Oversize

You can also consult the following resources:


Literature Online with MLA

Biography Reference Center

  • American Foreign Relations since 1600 The product of a unique partnership between the publisher and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), this title is an exhaustive updating of the original 2003 edition. It will be conveniently updated twice a year. Features include: 
    • 32 chronologically organized chapters that combine bibliographies, biographies, and analysis written by scholars in the field 
    • 18,000+ primary and secondary sources that cover the breadth of American history from the 17th century to the present 
    • Chapters which conclude with examinations of every part of the world or nation addressed by the United States during that period. 
    • Links between related entries offer access to resources often overlooked.
  • American Men & Women of Science American Men & Women of Science (AMWS) remains without peer as a chronicle of scientific endeavor and achievement in the United States and Canada. The present work is the twenty-seventh edition, and was first compiled as American Men of Science by J. McKeen Cattell in 1906. In its 104 year history, AMWS has profiled the careers of more than 300,000 people in various scientific fields. Since the first edition, the number of U.S. and Canadian scientists and the fields they pursue has grown immensely. This edition alone lists 130,252 people in science, approximately 1,000 of which are listed for the first time and approximately 40,000 updated entries. Although the book has grown, our stated purpose is the same as when Dr. Cattell first undertook the task of producing a biographical directory of active American scientists. It was his intention to record educational, personal and career data which would make “a contribution to the organization of science in America” and “make men [and women] of science acquainted with one another and with one another's work.” It is our hope that this edition will fulfill these goals.
  • American National Biography offers portraits of more than 17,400 men and women -- from all eras and walks of life. The online edition is updated quarterly, with hundreds of new entries each year and revisions of previously published entries to enhance their accuracy and currency. The ANB Online also features thousands of illustrations, more than 80,000 hyperlinked cross-references and links to select web sites. 
  • Ancestry Library Edition United States and United Kingdom genealogical resources, offering coverage of the United States and the United Kingdom, including census; military; court, land, and probate; vital and church records; directories; passenger lists and more, as well as some similar record collections from Canada and some European countries. The collection includes databases with key sources such as U.S. Federal Census images and indexes from 1790 to 1930; the Map Center containing more than 1,000 historical maps; American Genealogical Biographical Index (over 200 volumes); Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage (over 150 volumes); The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1630; Social Security Death Index (updated monthly); WWI Draft Registration Cards; Federal Slave Narratives; and a strong Civil War collection. The database currently contains over two billion names. More indexes and original images will continue to be added to the immigration collection. 

    Source List: Browse Records for lists organized by type of record (census, military, birth and death, immigration, etc.) and for access to extremely detailed lists of contents.
  • Bibliographie de Civilisation Médiévale A current bibliography of monographs worldwide and listings of miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften). The bibliography focuses on the Central Middle Ages, with coverage expanding in stages to cover both the Early and Late Middle Ages. The Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale comprises titles from 1958 to 2003, i.e. the whole of the relevant elements from the famous bibliography in the Cahiers de civilisation médiévale. Every reference has been classified by date, subject and location, and provides full bibliographical records.
  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online The first phase of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography presents persons who died between the years 1000 and 1920 or whose last known date of activity falls within these years. Integrated into the country's largest archival repository, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online paves the way to extensive research and provides access to the fourteen volumes already in print. The biographies are fully searchable by keyword and volumes 2, 4-8, and 11-14 are accessible by identity/profession and volumes 2, 5-8, and 11-14 are accessible by geographic region.
    The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online will be continually expanded and enhanced.
  • Dictionary of National Biography The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the premier source for biographical information on persons connected with the British Isles from all periods of history. The qualifications for inclusion are that subjects not be living, that they inhabited or were connected with the British Isles, and that they were noteworthy. The noteworthy and influential element in a subject's life may range from the great and good to the popular, philanthropic, pioneering, scientific, social, curious, or criminal. Building on the work originally incorporated in the Dictionary of National Biography all of whose entries were revised or rewritten for this work -- the Oxford DNB contains 50,000 biographies and 10,000 images of men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2000. 

    In addition to detailed biographical information, each entry provides links 

    Within the Oxford DNB to entries on other persons mentioned in the text 
    To comprehensive reference material consisting of up-to-date bibliographic information on material used to write the biography; details of a person's archives (film and sound as well as manuscript); his or her likenesses; and (where available) an assessment of the subject's personal wealth at or near the time of death. 
    To the original entry in the Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1996), if there was one 
    To an automatic search in the National Register of Archives, the archive for non-governmental records that deal with British history, to identify manuscript materials related to the biographee.
  • Dictionary of New Zealand Biography This site includes the collected biographies of New Zealanders no longer living which were originally published in the printed Dictionary of New Zealand Biography series between 1990 and 2000, and in the parallel Maori-language series, Nga Tangata Taumata Rau. It contains: 

    the biographies of 3,049 people in 2,977 biographical essays 
    the biographies of 492 Maori people in 481 essays, translated into Maori from the English-language biographies. 
    The biographies have been published here as they appeared in the printed version, with a small number of minor corrections. The date given in the citation at the foot of each biography records when the text was last updated. New additions will continue to be made.
  • Directory of American Scholars The Directory of American Scholars provides a comprehensive perspective on several segments of the American scholarly community, including current biographies of more than 24,000 scholars in the humanities (history, English, speech, drama, foreign languages, linguistics, philology, philosophy, and religion), law, and the social sciences. Each entry includes the following information: vital statistics, education, honorary degrees and awards, past and present professional experience, memberships, publications, and mailing address.
  • Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History A reference work on Civil War in the United States. Essays describe and explain aspects that cover the coming of the war, its conduct, and its consequences in a political, military, and social context. In addition to full biographies of major and minor military, political, diplomatic, and cultural figures, these essays include descriptions of more than sixty major engagements as well as important skirmishes and their role in the larger military setting. Broad subjects such as strategy and tactics, social trends, and technological innovations are also included. Primary documents are provided in a separate section, maps depict military aspects, and illustrations furnish both portraiture and vivid scenes from the period. Appendices supply the executive officers of both the United States and Confederate States, general officers of each army, a glossary of terms unique to military usage or peculiar to the period, and an extensive bibliography.
  • NDB ADB Deutsche Biographie The ADB (General German Biography) and the NDB (New German Biography), one of the world's largest historical-biographical dictionaries, is published by the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Bavarian Academy of Sciences) The ADB covers from 1875 till 1912 and informs about important people that lived in German-speaking areas - including the Netherlands until 1648 - and that died before 1900. 
    The NDB, a work in progress, collects and presents information on deceased people in German speaking areas from the Middle Ages until today. The persons included must have been significant for the areas of either politics, economics, the arts or in social, scientific, or technical areas. The NDB is continuously published and updated since 1953.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the premier source for biographical information on persons connected with the British Isles from all periods of history. The qualifications for inclusion are that subjects not be living, that they inhabited or were connected with the British Isles, and that they were noteworthy. The noteworthy and influential element in a subject's life may range from the great and good to the popular, philanthropic, pioneering, scientific, social, curious, or criminal. Building on the work originally incorporated in the Dictionary of National Biography all of whose entries were revised or rewritten for this work -- the Oxford DNB contains 50,000 biographies and 10,000 images of men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2000. 

    In addition to detailed biographical information, each entry provides links 

    Within the Oxford DNB to entries on other persons mentioned in the text 
    To comprehensive reference material consisting of up-to-date bibliographic information on material used to write the biography; details of a person's archives (film and sound as well as manuscript); his or her likenesses; and (where available) an assessment of the subject's personal wealth at or near the time of death. 
    To the original entry in the Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1996), if there was one 
    To an automatic search in the National Register of Archives, the archive for non-governmental records that deal with British history, to identify manuscript materials related to the biographee. 
  • World Biographical Information System  In 1982, K.G. Saur published the first of its “biographical archives”, a project which set out to identify the major biographical reference works published from the 16th to the early 20th century pertaining to a country or to a specific language, region, or culture and to publish their contents. The contents were reproduced from the originals, and all the full-text entries on the same person from each of these works were made available in one alphabetical sequence. Each entry is an exact copy of the original printed article. Based on the digitization of this extensive series of biographical archives, the World Biographical Information System provides access to more than 5.4 million full-text biographies of men and women of all classes and professions, from all the countries and regions of the world, ranging from the 8th millennium BC to the present. A Biographical Search allows the identification of individuals by year of birth and/or death, by occupation, and by archive (i.e. by country, region, or culture), in addition to name.     

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Databases for general biographies

 

American National Biography

American National Biography offers portraits of more than 17,400 men and women -- from all eras and walks of life. The online edition is updated quarterly, with hundreds of new entries each year and revisions of previously published entries to enhance their accuracy and currency. The ANB Online also features thousands of illustrations, more than 80,000 hyperlinked cross-references and links to select web sites.

 

Biography in Context

Biography in Context includes nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography. It offers media-rich content in context that's updated daily. Includes: 600,000+ biographies covering more than 525,000 individuals; 170 Gale reference titles; 50,000 new or updated bios added annually in addition to daily updates to account for awards and events; integrated reference material, periodical information and multimedia content.

 

Biography Index: Past and Present (Wilson)

Biography Index: Past and Present is a new version of the Biography Index database, containing retrospective coverage from Biography Index back to when it was first published in 1946, combined with coverage right up to the present. This database offers information about people from all all time periods throughout history and right up to the present in a single, easy to use database.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

The first phase of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography presents persons who died between the years 1000 and 1920 or whose last known date of activity falls within these years. Integrated into the country's largest archival repository, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online paves the way to extensive research and provides access to the fourteen volumes already in print. The biographies are fully searchable by keyword and volumes 2, 4-8, and 11-14 are accessible by identity/profession and volumes 2, 5-8, and 11-14 are accessible by geographic region.
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online will be continually expanded and enhanced.

 

World Biographical Information System (WBIS) Online is the most comprehensive biographical database available, providing short biographical information on over 6 Million people from the 8th century B.C. to the present. Included are 8.4 Million digital facsimile articles from biographical reference works. Access to digitized articles is subscription based.

Find more...

To find specialized biographies in foreign languages and literatures, consult the following LibGuides (developed by my Yale Library colleagues):