Biography in Context has lots of useful sources, but my favorite part of the database design is the way it allows you to easily browse by topic. It also includes overview articles to help you understand the major milestones that happened during the lives of many important, notable historical figures. Click here for more details on databases and general database search techniques.
You will notice that my screenshots are all from World History in Context, that’s because the two databases work exactly the same way, so I just saved time by re-using!
Some of our databases require a password for access. Find a complete list of e-resources and login passwords in the link below. Forgotten the password to open the password list? Come see us in the library or email Ms. McNerney firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for a video tutorial of the passwords page.
Searching in Biography In Context
I find it is easiest to start in the “Browse Topics” heading because your search results will be very clearly organized.
Once you have opened the Browse Topics page you can:
- You can look at an entire alphabetical list of topics
- Or you can choose a category from the dropdown menu
- Each category will open another alphabetical list of topics
Topic Resource Organization
Once you have opened a topic (in this screenshot example: Ancient Egypt) this database displays resources related to that topic. I generally suggest starting with the “Read More” in the topic homepage.
You can also seem more sources, divided into categories displayed in the bottom grey box as you scroll down the page. In this example screenshot the “Reference” category is highlighted (those are typically chapters from informational books).
Narrowing/limiting your search results
Once you have opened a source category (in this screenshot example we have opened “Reference”) you can narrow/limit your results using the buttons in the right sidebar.
You can also search for a specific topic within your sources. For example, there are 751 reference articles about Ancient Egypt. If I know that I am researching Cleopatra specifically I can use the “search within” option in the right sidebar. Entering “cleopatra” will limit my results to only articles about Ancient Egypt that ALSO contain the word “Cleopatra.” In this example that reduces my number of articles to 36– which is much more manageable. See screenshot below:
Emailing Articles and other article tools
When you find a useful article EMAIL yourself a copy. It’s the easiest way to ensure you have access to the document later. Trust me, it can be a lifesaver if you need to reference it again later in your project.