Finding Biographical Information about Authors

Finding Biographical Information About Authors: Using the Library Catalog 

The library catalog is used to help you find materials in the library. The catalog can be used to find information about an author or books by an author.

When searching for information about an author, start with a Subject search. An example of a Subject search is given below. Notice that the name should be typed in the order Surname, comma, first name:

picture of catalog subject search for author

When searching for books written by an author, use an Author search. An example of an Author search is given below:

picture of catalog author search

picture of CCRLS catalog search options sidebar

Finding Biographical Information About Authors: Using Literature Resource Center 

Literature Resource Center, available to Chemeketa students and staff, consists of criticism, biographies, bibliographies, work overviews and explications, Web sites, periodical articles, compare and contrast pages, full-text author's works, and reading lists

In addition to articles from periodicals that are included in the database, over 70,000 selected full-text critical essays and reviews from the following book series are included:

  • Contemporary Literary Criticism,
  • Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism,
  • Literature Criticism from 1400-1800,
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism,
  • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism,
  • Drama Criticism,
  • Poetry Criticism,
  • Shakespearean Criticism,
  • Short Story Criticism,
  • Children's Literature Review

Access:  http://library.chemeketa.edu/information/database.php. To access databases from off campus you will need your My Chemeketa user name and six-digit password.

Basic Searching

Enter author's name (last name, first name) in the Person space and click on Search.

beginning search

Click the Biographies Tab on the results page to display biographical results.

Picture showing the Biographies tab on the results page

Finding More Information About Authors' Lives: Additional Articles 

The library has many indexes to magazines available in paper or electronically from our catalog page (Click "Article Indexes and Databases" to reach the database page.)

If you are accessing these databases from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa username and password.

A good database to start with is Academic Onefile, available on the database page.

To search for information in the database, start Academic Onefile and click on the Subject Guide Search link in the toolbar banner.

picture of Gale Subject search screen

  1. Type an author's name, last name first, in the space marked "Find Subject."
  2. Then click the Go button.
  3. Click on the name in the resulting list to see the articles, or click the plus sign (+) to see more specific aspects of the subject, such as "Criticism & interpretation."

picture of Refine Results sidebar

When you click a subject, a list of articles will appear. If you wish, you can use the "Refine Results" sidebar to limit your search to full electronic text. An option is also available to add a word to your search or to limit results to peer-reviewed (i.e., scholarly) journals.



The newest articles will be at the beginning of a list. To see more information about an article, click on the highlighted title. Many articles have links to full text, where you can read or print the article online. If an article has full text, you can also e-mail it to yourself. More information on printing, saving, and e-mailing articles is at the Gale periodicals instructions page.

Finding More Information About Authors' Lives: Internet Sites 

Online Resources for Biography and Online Resources for Literature include some Web sites for biographical information.

Finding More Information About Authors' Lives: Reference Resources 

There are many reference books in the library that have biographical information about authors. Although reference books do not check out, you can make photocopies in the Copy Room.

Reference Books 

Here is a list of resources available in the reference collection that include information about authors as well as the historical periods in which they lived. As you can see by the numbers in the list below, books about authors from the same geographical area are shelved together.

[R 809 Au8] Author biographies master index
[R 809 C99] Cyclopedia of world authors
[R 809 G79] Great foreign language writers
[R 809.04 C765] Contemporary foreign language writers
[R 809.1 C86] Critical survey of poetry: English language series
[R 809.8928703 En1] An Encyclopedia of continental women writers
[R 809.8971 Ox2] The Oxford companion to Canadian literature
[R 810.3 H25] The Oxford companion to American literature
[R 810.9 K96] American authors, 1600-1900: a biographical dictionary of American literature
[R 810.9897 W61] Native American literatures: an encyclopedia of works, characters, authors, and themes
[R 810.9928703 Ox2] The Oxford companion to women's writing in the United States
[R 820.3 Ox23] The Oxford companion to twentieth-century literature in English
[R 820.9 C14] The Cambridge guide to literature in English
[R 820.9008 K96] British authors of the nineteenth century
[R 820.99287 D56] A Dictionary of British and American women writers
[R 820.99287 En1] An Encyclopedia of British women writers
[R 820.9944 W64] The Oxford companion to Australian literature
[R 820.99603 C73] The companion to African literatures
[R 820.999303 Ox2] The Oxford companion to New Zealand literature
[R 820.90003 B57] The Feminist companion to literature in English: women writers from the Middle Ages to the present
[R 809.2003 C86] Critical survey of drama
[R 860.998 L34] Latin American writers
[R 892.70903 En1] Encyclopedia of Arabic literature


To find information about significant historical events of an era, use a chronology. Chronologies are organized by year and list important events that occurred during that year. Some chronologies available in the library are:



[R 902.02 C23] Chronology of World History
[R 902.02 M48] Encyclopedia of World Facts and Dates
[R 902.2 W67] Chronology of the Modern World: 1763-1992



To comment or request help, please e-mail Reference or call 503.399.5231.

Address of this page: http://library.chemeketa.edu/instruction/authors.php/p>

Updated: 6 February 2012