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How to find out about the lives of other people, both the famous and the not-so-famous.

Periodicals and Periodical Databases

ProQuest and EbscoHost are full of articles about people. Both database vendors provide similar methods for searching biographical information.

In ProQuest, select "Advanced Search", enter the name of a person, and then use the pull-down menu at the right to select "Person".

A search in EbscoHost looks very similar. First, select "Advance Search", enter a name, and then use the pull-down menu to select "PE People". 

Note that when searching library catalogs and periodical databases, name should be entered last name, first name.


ProQuest is a company that aggregates the full text of thousands of magazines, academic journals, trade publications, and newspapers. ProQuest databases are useful for researching topics in almost all areas of study, e.g. Business, Science, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Articles from ProQuest overlap some with EbscoHost, but ProQuest also provides unique content, such as ethnic news and alternative press resources.  


EbscoHost, a content aggregator similar to ProQuest, brings together thousands of magazines, academic journals, and trade publications. We subscribe to 4 EbscoHost databases which may be searched separately or simultaneously.

  • Academic Search Premier
    • full text of 4,700 publications in all academic disciplines, such as science, political science, social sciences, and humanities. Your access to Academic Search Premier is made possible by the Haselwood endowment.
  • CINAHL  (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature)
    •  journal literature for nursing and allied health students.
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
    • for students researching topics in psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, family service, criminal justice, and nursing.

New York Times

The New York Times deserves mention as a reputable source of biographical information.  Whether in the form of an obituary or feature article, this prestigious newspaper provides us with a century of detailed, credible information.  The New York Times is available in ProQuest from 1980 to the present; in hard copy for the last 4 months; and in microfilm from 1910 to 2003.