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Biographical Perspectives: History Says

Biographies and other historical analysis compiled by scholars after the unfolding of a person's life provide you with an opportunity to step back and study an individual as a whole. The authors of these works are not without their biases. Consider the political times and social mood during which the biographer or historian is writing. Following are several means by which you can locate historical analysis.

Reference Books

Not all reference works are general.  Publishers often compile topic specific resources, inviting leading experts with the field to research and author entries.  Look for resources that offer more detailed analysis than general information, authored by credentialed experts. Below are two great examples from our library collection:


Biographical Anthologies

Biographies found in biographical anthologies (920). Because they are often organized by theme or topic, the editor/author generally take a comparative historian's point of view.  Use the library catalog to find topic/theme anthologies, and use the table of content to locate specific chapters or essays on the historical figure.

Historical Analysis

Retrospective historical analysis that deals with subjects related to the subjects life after the passage of time can provide good insight into how historians interpret an individual. For example, the impact of John Dewey on American education would likely be found in a historical overview/analysis of American educational practices). Locate historical analysis using the library catalog. Use the index in the back of the book  (or the search engine in an ebook!) to find specific references to the historical figure you are researching.

Current Historical Criticism

Current historical criticism can be located in textbooks, in reference resources, and online through history databases such as Student Resources-in-Context.

Online Resources

 Wisconsin Badgerlink Resources

The Badgerlink portal, provided by the State of Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction, offers all Wisconsin citizens access to an awesome collection of databases.  Check out the following two resources, keeping in mind to look for TYPES OF SOURCES that are likely to provide historical analysis.

Student Resources in Context 


This portal of information provides you with access to all types of information, including magazines, journals, and multi-media resources that are likely to include historical analysis. 


This database also includes top notch reference and biographical resources and awesome online note-taking tools that make it a powerful one-stop research portal!)


Global Issues in Context 

Follow up with this database, which resembles Student Resources-in-Context, but provides additional access to resources  "designed to support global awareness."  While much of the focus is on current events, there are plenty of historical resources here!

In the LIbrary

How to access BOOKS / eBOOKS our library has to offer you (in hand or online):

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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