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What kind of information can I find in a biography?

A biography is a book written about a particular individual. You can also find compiled biographies, which are books that contain short biographies of many different people. A compiled biography normally is about a specific group of people. For example, you can find compiled biographies about individuals who were involved in a particular profession or who lived in a particular area. You can usually find the following information in a biography: occupation, accomplishments, affiliations, and family information.

Where can I find biographies?

To find a biography about one or more of your ancestors, you need to spend some time at a few libraries, preferably genealogy and public libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. In addition, you may want to check in larger libraries, such as state or university libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. If you are unable to go to those libraries in person, find out if they are part of an interlibrary loan system. The Library of Congress and the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints both have extensive collections of published biographies.

You may want to use an index to biographies to help you locate a biography about your ancestors. One such index is the Biography and Genealogy Master Index published by Gale Research Inc., and available at larger libraries in volumes and on CD-ROM. The libraries in which you conduct your research may have additional indexes to biographies.

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