Two wonderful on line sources for finding biographies in Pennsylvania are found at the following two websites:
- Pennsylvania Biographies at Historic PA.net. These biographies are arranged alphabetically.
- PA-Roots Bringing our past into the future. These biographies are arranged by county.
The best collections of published biographies of Pennsylvania are at the following websites:
The Family History Library also has a major collection of published and manuscript biographical material. Other helpful sources include:
Index to Pennsylvania County Histories. This is a 75,000-card index at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to people of western Pennsylvania. The staff will search for two or three specific names, and there is a fee if photocopies are requested.
Pennsylvania Encyclopedia Biography Field Notes for American Guide Series. Before World War II, the Federal Writer's Project collected typed biographical sketches abstracted from local histories and various biographical encyclopedias. These are at the Bureau of Archives and History and at the Family History Library on 17 Family History Library films beginning with 1015709.
Some representative biographical sources are:
- Jordan, John W., et al. Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography. 32 vols. New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co, 1914-67. (Family History Library book 974.8 D3e vols. 1-6, 15, 25-26; on 4 Family History Library films beginning with 1697289 item 9; on 35 Family History Library fiche beginning with 6048701.) These biographies may contain much genealogical information.
An index to this set is:
Godcharles, Frederic A. and Walter D. Stock. Index to the Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography, volumes I-XXXII. Two volumes in one. Baltimore, Maryland.: Clearfield Company, Inc., 1996. (Family History Library book 974.8 D3e index.) Part one is a reprint of the index to volumes I-XX originally published in New York in 1932 and does not index every name. Part two is an index to most names in volumes XXI-XXXII published by Walter D. Stock in 1996.
- Robson, Charles, ed. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Galaxy, 1874. (Family History Library book 974.8 D3be; film 1000537 item 4.)
- Pennsylvania Biographical Dictionary: People of All Times and Places Who Have Been Important to the History and Life of the State. Wilmington, Delaware: American Historical Publications, 1989. (Family History Library book 974.8 D3p).
- The Pennsylvania Biography Project: http://www.pabio.000space.com/
- Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of Biography (Vols. 1-7 and 10)