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A biography is a history of a person’s life. In it you may find a person’s birth, marriage, and death information and the names of parents, children, or other family members. Use the information carefully because some may be inaccurate.
Collective biographies, sometimes called biographical encyclopedias or dictionaries, have thousands of brief biographies, usually of prominent or well-known citizens. Others feature specific groups, such as artists or clergymen. Some significant ones for Canada, found in many large libraries in the United States and Canada, are:
Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire biographique du Canada (DCB/DBC), online version with 8,400 biographies, including the contents of volumes I to XV. The Dictionary is a research and publishing project of the University of Toronto and the Université Laval, originally launched in 1959.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966–. (Family History Library book 971 D3d
Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Index, volumes I to XII (FHL book 971 D3d Index.)
Biography and Genealogy Master Index, 2nd ed., multiple vols., annual with five-year cumulations. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1980–. (Family History Library book 016.92 G131; compact disc no. 11, pts. A and B.) This work indexes over seven million biographies of two million people, including world figures and United States and Canadian citizens.
Wallace, W. Stewart, ed. The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 4th ed. rev. W. A. McKay. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1978, reprint 1985. (Family History Library book 971 D3ww.) This is a useful one-volume biographical dictionary of prominent Canadians who died before 1976.
Who’s Who in Canada. London, Eng., or Toronto: various publishers, 1910–. (FHL book 971 D3w.) This work lists many prominent 20th-century Canadian citizens. The Family History Library has some recent issues; large libraries in Canada may have the complete series.
McMann, Evelyn de R. Canadian Who’s Who Index 1898–1984, Incorporating Canadian Men and Women of the Time. 1986. Reprint. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988. (Family History Library book 971 D32m.) Canadian Who’s Who . . . is different from Who’s Who in Canada. Most volumes of Canadian Who’s Who Index . . . have been reproduced on 309 microfiche in:
Canadian Who’s Who in Microfiche, 1898–1988. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985–89. (Family History Library fiche 6334357. Not available at Family History Centers.)
Canadian Men and Women of the Time. 2 vols. Toronto: William Briggs, 1898, 1912. (Family History Library book 971 D3cm; 1912 volume only on Family History Library microfilm 934811 item 1.) These two volumes are included in Canadian Who’s Who in Microfiche and in its index.
Kent, Timothy J. "Phantoms of the French Fur Trade, Twenty Men Who Worked in the Trade Between 1618 and 1758, Volumes I, II, and III." ISBN: 978-0-9657230-7-7. See Mr. Kent's web site for additional information, including the Table of Contents for a list of biographies included and the excerpts for some brief biographies.
For additional collective biographies see the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
CANADA - BIOGRAPHY
[PROVINCE] - BIOGRAPHY