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Biographies

Research and discover biographical resources at McQuade!

Welcome!

This guide serves as a starting point for students, faculty, and staff who are using the McQuade Library to research Biographies. Click on the tabs to the left to discover books, journal articles, databases and other resources to help you with your research. This guide is to represent sources for finding biographical information, however, it is not exhaustive and will be expanded over time. Good luck!

What is a Biography?

A narrative history of the life of some person; or the practice of writing such works. Most biographies provide an account of the life of a notable individual from birth to death, or in the case of living persons from birth to the time of writing; but some treat the connected lives of paired subjects or of groups (known as ‘group biography’); and since the late 20th century the term has been stretched to cover accounts of non-human subjects such as houses, cities, or commodities, in which case ‘a biography’ really means an intimate or gossipy history.

""biography"" The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Chris Baldick. Oxford University Press, 2008.

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What is an Autobiography?

A narrative account of an extended period of some person's life, written by, or presented as having been written by, that person; or the practice of writing such works. Autobiography differs from biography not only in its evidently more subjective narrative point of view but in its inconclusiveness: an autobiographer cannot recount her or his own death.

""autobiography"" The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Chris Baldick. Oxford University Press, 2008.

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What is a Memoir?

A narrative recollection of the writer's earlier experiences, especially those involving unusual people, places, or events. A memoir is commonly distinguished from an autobiography by its greater emphasis on other people or upon events such as war and travel experienced in common with others, and sometimes by its more episodic structure, which does not need to be tied to the personal development of the narrator; however, the terms are often still confounded. Memoirs are supposed to be non‐fictional.

""memoir"" The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Chris Baldick. Oxford University Press, 2008.

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