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Biography is the study of famous individuals, both living and dead.

Subject Guide

Matthew Kleven

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Biography is the study of famous individuals, both living and dead. While there are biographical books on many famous individuals (both popular and academic), there are resources that encapsulate information about an individual and provide resources to learn more about him or her. These include biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias. Many resources will only detail the individuals the fit a certain category, such as women, latinos, Americans, writers, scientists, etc. Autobiographies are written by the subject.

Care must be taken when conducting biographical research because the information may not be objective. Biographies written by critics may be unduly negative, while those written by fans may be too positive. To remedy this, find as many different sources as possible to balance out the viewpoints in the sources.

Library Of Congress Classification

Library materials are organized by a system created by the Library of Congress that groups materials based on what they are about. This LC system uses letters and numbers to determine the call number of a book, which serves as that book’s address within the collection. The advantage of this system is that books about the same subject, say Napoleon, should be in the same area. Find a good book on your subject and you should be able to find others in the same area.

The Library of Congress system places books on biography in Class CT. These classes are further broken down into subclasses that define more specific subjects. Some important subclasses for biography study are listed below. Click here for a more complete look at Library of Congress Class C.

CT 21-9999


CT 3200-3830

Biography, women

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