How to Do Library Research

This set of pages has information on how to do library research. In all cases, once you have located sources, be sure to evaluate them, using the evaluation guides.


The first part of this Web page has sources that can be used to identify resources with biographical information about scientists. The later parts list resources which contain biographical information.

Collective Biographies in the Sciences

Some books contain biographies of more than one person, with several pages or a whole chapter devoted to each individual. These works are called collective biographies or biographical collections. There are several ways to find collective biographies; some collected works may have been retrieved when searching the library catalog for individual biographies. Here are several other methods.


The following three books index many of the important collective biographies in the sciences. In the front or back of each volume is a listing of the sources that are covered. Individuals are listed alphabetically by last name, with references indicating the biographical source(s).

  • Ireland, Norma Olin. Index to Scientists of the World From Ancient to Modern Times: Biographies and Portraits. Boston: Faxon, 1962.
    Z 7404 .I7 Morgan and Storage
  • Morton, Leslie T. and Moore, Robert J. A Bibliography of Medical and Biomedical Biography. 2nd ed. Brookfield VT: Scholar Press, 1994.
    Z 6660.5 .M67 1994 Morgan
  • Prominent Scientists: An Index to Collective Biographies. 3rd ed. New York: Neal-Schuman, 1994.
    Q 141 .P398 1994 Morgan

Other collective biographies are found by using the catalog Subject search using either the subject field or the professional title of the person and add "biography."




Be sure to eliminate the books that are listed in these sections, as well as the books covered by the indexes.

The following collective biographies are not covered by the two books listed directly above.


  • American Men and Women of Science. 8 vols. 22nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Q 141 .A48 22nd REF

    Earlier editions are located in Morgan Stacks; 1st through the 11th editions are titled: American Men of Science.

  • The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists. 2 vols. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Q 141 .B528 2000 Morgan

  • Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008. CDSBonline.
  • Concise Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2nd ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2000. Q 141 .C55 2000 REF
  • Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 16 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970-80. Q 141 D5 REF
  • Notable Scientists from 1900 to the Present. 5 vols. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2001. Q 141 .N728 2001 REF
  • Who's Who in Science in Europe: A Biographical Guide in Science, Technology, Agriculture, and Medicine. 2 vols. 9th ed. Essex, England: Longman, 1995. Q 145 .W52 9th 1995 Morgan


Women in the Sciences

  • Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science. 2 vols. New York: Routledge, 2000. Q 141 .B5285 2000 REF

  • Haines, Catharine M.C. and Helen M. Stevens. International Women in Science: A Biographical Dictionary to 1950. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001. Q 141 .H2167 2001 Morgan

  • Oakes, Elizabeth, H. International Encyclopedia of Women Scientists. New York: Facts on File, 2002. Q 141 .O27 2002 REF

  • Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. Shearer, eds. Notable Women in the Physical Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1997. Q 141 .N734 1997 Morgan

  • Yount, Lisa, Y. A to Z of Women in Science and Math. New York: Facts on File, 1999. Q 141 .Y675 1999 Morgan

  • Zierdt-Warshaw, Linda, et al. American Women in Technology: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000. T 36 .Z54 2000 REF & Available AWTonline.

African American Scientists

  • Ho, James K. K. Black Engineers in the United States: A Directory. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1974. TA 12 .H6 Morgan

  • Kessler, James H. Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx, 1996. Q 141 .D535 1996 REF

  • Notable Black American Scientists. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Q 141 .N726 1999 REF

  • Warren, Wini. Black Women Scientists in the United States. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999. Q 141 .W367 1999 REF

  • Webster, Raymond B. African American Firsts in Science and Technology. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Q 141 .W43 1999 REF

Specific Areas/Prize Winners

  • Abbot, R. Tucker ed. American Malacologists: A National Register of Professional and Amateur Malacologists and Private Shell Collectors and Biographies of Early American Mollusk Workers Born Between 1648 and 1900. Falls Church, VA: American Malacologists, 1973. QL 35 .A44 Morgan

  • Chemical Research Faculties: An International Directory. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1996. QD 40 .C4317 1996 REF

  • Directory of Physicians in the United States. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 2001. R 712 .A1A6 37th 2001 Morgan

  • Kurian, George Thomas. The Nobel Scientists: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2002. Q 141 .K78 2002 Morgan

  • Leroy, Francis, ed. A Century of Nobel Prize Recipients: Chemistry, Physics and Medicine. New York: Marcel Drekkar, 2003. Q 141 .C252 2003 Morgan

  • Oakes, Elizabeth, H. A to Z of STS [Science, Technology, and Society Studies] Scientists. New York: Facts on Files, 2002. Q 141 .O23 2002 Morgan

  • Who's Who in Engineering. 9th ed. New York: Engineer Joint Council, 1995. TA 139 .E37 9th 1995 REF

  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering. Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who [year]. Q 141 .W46 [year] REF

  • Who's Who in Technology. 7th ed. New York: Gale Research, 1995. T 39 .W522 7th Morgan

  • Who's Who in Technology. 5th ed. 7 vols. [selected listing here]: Biotechnology; Civil Engineering; Electronics and Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1986. T 39 .W522 1986 Morgan

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