Biography and History

Looking for a biography? Want to learn about history? These online resources are great place to begin your research.

Of course, we have lots of materials available in the library too. Try searching the catalog or asking a librarian.

Free With Forbes Card America’s Obituaries & Death Notices

America’s Obituaries & Death Notices contains news articles from 3,605 Sources and 53 States and Territories.

Provided by Forbes Library. Remote access requires a Forbes Library card.

Free Anywhere American Memory

American Memory provides free and open access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.

Provided by the Library of Congress 

Free State Wide Biography In Context

Use this database for over 400,000 biographies covering literary figures, science, multicultural studies, business, entertainment, politics, sports, government, history, current events and the arts. Indexes all print volumes of the series.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free Anywhere Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

This site allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Free In Library Historic Northampton Archives (available in library)

A great local history resource! Search by keyword in Historic Northampton’s digital catalog and archives containing thousands of photographs, historic newspapers and maps, and extensive digital collections database. Includes the Howes Brothers Collection, genealogy resources, and images of the earliest issues of the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Provided by Forbes Library and available for use in the library.

Free State Wide Literature Resource Center

Researchers at all levels will find the information they need on authors and their works in all genres and disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world. Includes biographical entries on more than 135,000 authors, more than 850,000 full-text articles, critical essays and reviews from scholarly journals, literary magazines, and other reference books.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Massachusetts History Online

Use this collection for full-text articles from history journals, professional publications and local newspapers for coverage of Massachusetts people, places and historical events.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free With Forbes Card Musicians and Composers of the Twentieth Century

The online version of Musicians and Composers of the Twentieth Century from Salem Press contains biographical profiles of important figures in all genres of music.

Provided by Forbes Library. Remote access requires a Forbes Library card.

Free With Forbes Card National Geographic

National Geographic Virtual Library (NGVL) supports a range of research needs in the areas of science, history, technology, the environment, cultures, and more. Includes People, Animals, and the World and the National Geographic magazine archive 1888 – Present.

Provided by Forbes Library. Remote access requires a Forbes Library card.

Free With Forbes Card Salem History

The online version of Milestone Documents in American History from Salem Press combines 130 full-text primary source documents with expert analysis and commentary.

Provided by Forbes Library. Remote access requires a Forbes Library card.

Free With Forbes Card Sharpe Online Reference

Offering a unique, interdisciplinary approach to U.S. and Global history and culture, Sharpe Online Reference (SOLR) explores the broad range of events, people, movements, and political, social, economic, and cultural issues that have shaped the nation and the world from earliest times to the present day.

Provided by Forbes Library. Remote access requires a Forbes Library card.

Free State Wide U.S. History in Context

Gale U.S. History in Context provides contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events and topics in U.S. History. Includes reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide World History in Context

Gale World History in Context provides contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events and topics in World History. It offers reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.