Electronic Databases

Biography and Genealogy Master Index

Biography and Genealogy Master Index indexes current and retrospective reference sources that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from all over the world. Biography and Genealogy Master Index will enable you to determine which publication to consult for biographical information on individuals.

Searching

There are several ways to perform a search in Biography and Genealogy Master Index. To begin searching the database, select one of the three Search options. You can search by name or by any word in the name. Extended and Expert searches also are available. To search by name, type a complete name or a word or combination of words known to be part of the individual’s name in the search boxes. Then click on the Search button. For exact name, put the name in quotations. For example: “Franklin, Benjamin” will bring up only names listed that way, but will not find the name listed as Benjamin Franklin. To retrieve all possible records, use the truncation symbol $. For example: Nixon, Richard M$ retrieves Richard M. Nixon and Richard Milhous Nixon.

Extended search

Through the Extended Search mode, you can construct searches that enable you to search many fields simultaneously. If you enter words in more than one field, it will look for entries that contain all of the terms in the specified fields. It is possible to search for a portrait of an individual this way or for year of birth and year of death. You can search for biographies in particular sources by using the Source Title box. Click on the word. Click under Source Title to see a complete list of sources indexed. See General Search Tips for how to use punctuation to make searches more specific.

Expert search

With the Expert Search mode, you can construct search queries that meet very specific criteria. For example, to identify individuals that have reigned as King or Queen during the Middle Ages, construct your search like this: (king or queen).na> and (@YB>=0500 and @YB<=1500). Field Codes and Descriptions can be found by clicking on the Help button, then clicking on the blue line Field Codes and Descriptions.

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This page was written by Mark Ranum in February, 2003.
This page was last updated on November 26, 2003.