Online resource of the month: Who’s Who and Who was Who

 Sandeep Dhaliwal, Tri-borough Reference Librarian, writes:

Who’s Who is a very popular resource both locally and nationally at public libraries. It is free for library members and what sets it apart from its competitors is that each entry is provided by the biographee which essentially makes it autobiographical. It has been published annually since 1849 and is the first biographical work of its kind with approximately 1,000 entries added every year.

  • Inclusion has always been by prominence in public life or professional achievement. Inclusion therefore carries a considerable level of prestige.
  • Once someone is included in Who’s Who, he or she remains in it for life, so for example MPs are not removed when they leave Parliament.
  • When someone dies, their biography is transferred to Who Was Who, where they are usually printed as they appeared in the last Who’s Who, appended with their date of death.
  • Accessibility: Free to use and available 24/7!

Below is an example of a typical entry which includes options to print, email and cite references as well as the first time the individual appeared in Who’s Who:

Who's Who

Who’s Who

A full list of online resources which the library service currently offers is available here.

Next online resource featured will be The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB).

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