Have you “checked out” Marvel recently? From many library websites around Maine, including the Gardiner Public Library website, you may access this wonderful database provided by the Maine State Library.
One of the MANY databases that are available to you with your library card is the Dictionary of Literary Biography. With just a few quick clicks, you can access information about many of your favorite authors.
For fun, I tried Nora Roberts, and immediately learned her birthday, her nationality, and place of birth. Further information includes awards she has received, as well as the year received; a list of titles complete as of the date the site was updated; pseudonym, with the titles; information about her books; as well as possible further reading about her in books, periodicals, and online.
Next I looked for Stephen King. Nora Roberts appeared in only one database; the name Stephen King, when using the Search All Literature Databases of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, brings up 44 documents on five pages. The source for most of these is the Contemporary Authors section of this database, but the type of information includes biography information, as well as criticism.
We know this works well with contemporary authors, how about some of the classics?
William Shakespearebrings up four articles, two about Nicholas Shakespeare and two about William Shakespeare. All four of the articles are biographical in nature. If I wasn’t sure which author I was interested in, the sources could be of assistance – Nicholas Shakespeare is in Contemporary Authors Online, and William Shakespeare is in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Perhaps there are folks who would consider William Shakespeare a contemporary, but since he was born in about 1564, I would like to think that contemporary doesn’t fit! So, choosing the William Shakespeare articles gives us biographical information, a list of his writings, criticisms, papers, suggested further readings about the author, as well as a list of play productions during his lifetime.
I don’t know about you, but this seems like an incredible resource!! Think of the papers/essays we have written or need to write! Authors and all of their work – WOW!!!