There are countless sources for biographical information. This research guide makes no attempt to make an exhaustive list of sources; rather, this guide lists some commonly used general sources.
Primary biographical sources are sources written by the person you are researching. These first-hand sources can include autobiographies, diaries, letters, speeches, and poems. Primary sources can also include audio recordings, film recordings, or transcripts of interviews in which the person you are researching is the interviewee.
Secondary biographical sources are sources written by someone other than the person you are researching. Secondary sources provide second-hand accounts that analyze, interpret, or comment on a person's life.
Thanks to John Hink, Spring 2012 Reference Intern, for his contributions to the development of this guide.