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1. Biographical Reference SourcesLIBR 210-11July 11, 2009<br />By: Jennifer Barton<br />Evelyn Bruneau<br />Christina Certo<br /> 2.…
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  • 1. Biographical Reference SourcesLIBR 210-11July 11, 2009<br />By: Jennifer Barton<br />Evelyn Bruneau<br />Christina Certo<br />
  • 2. Biographies-What will be covered<br />What are biographies- Evelyn Bruneau<br />Types of biographies-Evelyn Bruneau<br />Where to find biographical information-Evelyn Bruneau<br />What are biographies used for-Evelyn Bruneau<br />Evaluation of biographical sources-Jennifer Barton<br />Spotlight on selective biographical sources-Evelyn Bruneau, Jennifer Barton, Christina Certo<br />Conclusion-Jennifer Barton<br />
  • 3. What are Biographies?<br />Nonfictional literature<br />Written account of an individual’s life living and deceased<br />Focus on:<br />Individual<br />Country<br />Historical period<br />Specialized group<br />Eg. Artists or engineers<br />
  • 4. Types of Biographical Sources<br />Direct<br />Basic information (directories)<br />Lengthy biographical essays (dictionaries)<br />Ex. Who’s Who<br />Indirect <br />Biography and Genealogy Master Index<br />Bibliographic citations <br />Ex. Biography index<br />Current<br />Living persons<br />Ex. Current Biography, Contemporary Authors<br />Retrospective<br />Deceased persons<br />Ex. American National Biography, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography<br />
  • 5. Where to find Biographical Information (print, electronic, online)<br />Biographical dictionaries<br />Ex. Current Biography, Contemporary Authors<br />Biographical directories<br />Ex. Who’s who, American Men and Women of Science<br />Encyclopaedias<br />Yearbooks<br />Obituaries<br />Internet<br />Ex. Biography.com. Who2, Internet Movie Database<br />
  • 6. What are Biographies used for?<br />Students-assignments<br />Introductions-functions<br />Eulogies<br />Book clubs (Contemporary Authors)<br />Newspapers-to check credentials<br />Librarians-to check authority of authors’ names<br />Research organizations-to identify experts in certain fields<br />
  • 7. Scope<br />Who is included in this work?<br />What are the criteria for inclusion?<br />Individuals with reference interest<br />
  • 8. Comprehensiveness<br />Scope and comprehensiveness usually spelled out in the book’s preface<br />Scope and criteria must be in harmony<br />Look for even coverage within these areas—are a large number of eligible persons missing? If so, lacking in comprehensiveness<br />
  • 9. Accuracy<br />Utmost importance<br />Primary source (biographees)<br />Secondary source (writers about the subject)<br />Conflicting facts about a subject—<br />Can look at each source’s reputation <br />Can check more sources to try to determine the truth<br />
  • 10. Currency<br />How up-to-date is the source?<br />Constantly needing to update individual’s information in highly mobile society<br /> Electronic sources can be as out-of-date as print sources<br />
  • 11. References <br />References for further reading<br />Can be very valuable research material<br />Researchers should look at several sources to get a comprehensive look at the available material<br />
  • 12. Format<br />Presentation<br />Organization<br />Access points (electronic sources have an advantage over print sources here—time saver)<br />Background<br />Occupation<br />Same honor or award<br />Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)<br />Interpretation of information<br />
  • 13. Evaluating Biographical Sources<br />Scope<br />Comprehensiveness<br />Accuracy<br />Currency<br />References<br />
  • 14. Where to begin?<br />Correct spelling of person’s name<br />Time period in which the person was active<br />Identifying features <br />How much information do you need?<br />What is the person’s nationality?<br />
  • 15. Living or Dead?<br />
  • 16. Where to begin?<br />Is the person living or dead?<br />
  • 17. Current Biographical Sources<br />
  • 18. Who’s Who in America<br />Biographical directory<br />Brief biographical information<br />Published biennially up to 1994 and annually afterwards<br />Entries are in alphabetical order<br />
  • 19.
  • 20. Current Biography <br />This is an annual dictionary<br />Contains lengthy articles<br />American focus<br />Updated monthly<br />Organized alphabetically<br />Updated monthly<br />Entries limited to 350 per year<br />
  • 21. Current Biography<br />
  • 22. Specialized Biographical Sources<br />Contemporary authors<br />American men and women of science<br />Who’s who in Canada<br />Who’s who in Engineering<br />
  • 23. Contemporary Authors<br />Contains information on authors from all genres<br />Includes modern novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction writers, journalists and scriptwriters<br />20th and 21st Century<br />
  • 24. American Men and Women of Science<br />Special biographical directory of scientists<br />Information more specific than a general source<br />Sorted alphabetically by last name<br />Has discipline index <br />
  • 25. American Men and Women of ScienceRef Q 141<br />
  • 26. Retrospective Biographical Sources<br />Oxford Dictionary of National Biography<br />American National Biography<br />
  • 27. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography<br />Who is included: people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from Roman times to the present<br />56,949 biographies,10,500 illustrations<br />Published in print and online in 2004<br />Extended with 3 annual updates (each January, May and October)<br />
  • 28.
  • 29. American National Biography<br />Online edition has over 17,400 portraits of men and women “from all eras and walks of life—whose lives have shaped the nation.”<br />Updated semi-annually<br />Features thousands of illustrations, cross-linked references, links to websites and search capabilities<br />Has Biography of the Day feature and Special Collections<br />
  • 30.
  • 31. Online Sources<br />For<br />Biographical Information<br />
  • 32. Biography.com Homepage<br />
  • 33.
  • 34.
  • 35. More on the Biography.com Home Page…<br />
  • 36. Important Information Lost?<br />
  • 37. What can we learn from Biography.com?<br />While geared more toward selling its shows and videos, Biography.com is a reliable source for information on past and present celebrity figures. It is a member of the A&E television network, which states as its mission, “Everyday we grab people everywhere with our entertaining to take on life.” I’ve bolded what I feel is the most important word in that sentence. While I’d navigate to Biography.com to find a quick fact on someone, it’s main purpose is most assuredly to entertain its visitors.<br />
  • 38.
  • 39. Batman Biography<br />Cartoon Character<br />The superhero Batman was the brainchild of cartoonist Bob Kane. The character first appeared in Detective Comics in 1939, and was such a hit that Batman comics remained in print in one form or another into the 21st century. Batman is the &quot;caped crusader,&quot; the crimefighting alter-ego of millionaire Bruce Wayne. Wayne inherited a fortune as a boy after his parents were killed by robbers; when Wayne grew up he dedicated himself to fighting crime and chose the guise of a bat in order to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. (Unlike Superman and Spider-Man, Batman is a human with no supernatural powers.) Batman lives in Gotham City and operates out of his secret crime laboratory, the Bat Cave. He battles exotic supervillains including the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman and the Penguin, and is often aided by a sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder. Over the years Batman has appeared in many media and with various levels of seriousness. The 1960s live-action TV series was played for laughs, with a deadpan Adam West as Batman and nutty celebrity villains including ZsaZsa Gabor as Minerva and Roddy McDowall as the Bookworm. (The series also featured Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.) Two decades later Batman was reinvigorated by the 1986 publication of Frank Miller&apos;s gloomy, acerbic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. Miller&apos;s work inspired a darkly popular Batman feature film, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the caped crusader and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. (Val Kilmer and George Clooney played Batman in sequels.) Batman: The Animated Series began a long run on TV in 1992, with Kevin Conroy as Batman and well-known voices like Mark Hamill as the Joker and Adrienne Barbeau as Catwoman. The film series was revived in 2005 with Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale as Batman and Michael Caine as his faithful butler, Alfred. Another sequel, The Dark Knight, again starring Bale and with the late Heath Ledger as the Joker, was released in July 2008. Extra credit: Batman&apos;s first home, Detective Comics, later became better known as D.C. Comics.<br />
  • 40.
  • 41. <ul><li>Biographical dictionaries and who’s whos, which supply information on a number of individuals.
  • 42. Subject encyclopedias, which include some biographical entries.
  • 43. Volumes of literary criticism, which may contain only a limited amount of biographical information but give critical surveys of a writer's works.
  • 44. Indexes, which refer the user to a body of information found elsewhere.</li></li></ul><li>
  • 45. A sample search result using the credentials “harris, franco”…<br />
  • 46. Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Volume 28: September, 2002-August, 2003. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 2003. [BioIn 28] <br />Standard & Poor&apos;s Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives. 2008 edition. Volume 2: Directors and Executives. Charlottesville, VA:McGraw-Hill Cos., 2008. [St&PR 2008]<br />The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Athletes. By Mike McGovern. New York: Facts on File, 2001. Use the Index to locate biographies. [EncTwCA] Biography contains portrait. <br />Who&apos;s Who among Black Americans. Eighth edition, 1994/1995. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994. Later editions published as Who&apos;s Who among African Americans. [WhoBlA 8] <br />A Who&apos;s Who of Sports Champions. Their stories and records. By Ralph Hickok. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1995. [WhoSpor] <br />
  • 47. Conclusion<br />Biographical information is of great interest <br />
  • 48. Three types of research questions<br />Ready-reference<br />General background<br />Research<br />
  • 49. Ready Reference<br />Straightforward, factual info<br />Example: the date Elizabeth I died<br />Steps: <br />get all information possible from inquirer<br />Search a cross-referenced source such as BGMI as a starting point<br />
  • 50. General Background<br />Curiosity about individual, seeking information about life and accomplishments<br />Often modern authors and political leaders<br />More information needed than ready reference<br />Steps: good subject or specialized biographical source relevant to subject<br />Example: patron interested in Michael Crichton’s life<br />
  • 51. Research<br />Most in-depth type of inquiry<br />Descriptive, interpretive, as well as primary and secondary sources<br />Librarian can also refer inquirer to library’s catalog, a topical index, and/or specialized biography<br />Example: college student needing to write a research paper on Barack Obama<br />
  • 52. References<br />Bopp, R. E. & Smith, L.C. (2001). Reference and information services: an introduction. Third Ed. <br />Englewood Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.<br />Current biographical sources<br />Who’s who in America <br />Current biography<br />Retrospective biographical sources<br />American national biography <br />Oxford dictionary of national biography <br />Focused biographical sources<br />Contemporary authors<br />American men and women of science <br />Freely Available Online Sources<br />Biography.com http://www.biography.com<br />Who2 http://www.who2.com/<br />
  • 53. Visit our project blog on “Stuck in the Stacks” at: http://stuckinthestacks.blogspot.com<br />From there, you may navigate the entire presentation, read Evelyn’s Biography Info Guide, or learn more about our team and our LIBR-210 project.<br />
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