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Biography - Information about Notable People: Home

Biographical Research Guides

Biography Research

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.


Research Assistance

Reference Desk

Librarians can help you learn to make the most of the information resources, tools, and services of Murphy Library and beyond!

Weekdays & Sunday afternoons (fall/spring):

  • Visit us at the reference desk (1st floor)
  • Call us at 608.785.8508
  • Web Chat with us

Any time (year-round):

Local history and/or archives research? Special Collections / Area Research Center specialists are available!