Skip to Main Content


This guide includes online resources as well as print-format materials owned by the ISU University Library as well as a small selection of authoritative, free online websites. It also provides search tips for locating additional biographical resources.

Biographies in Iowa county history books

In the late 1800's, there was a national effort to document U.S. county histories, including brief biographical sketches of prominent families. These histories can be located using the Quick Search box on the library homepage. The most effective search is to use Advanced Search and change "Any Field" to "Title" and then search for:

"history" AND "[fill in county name here] County" AND "Biographical Sketches"

University Archives

The ISU University Archives contains a wealth of biographical materials on ISU alumni, faculty, staff and sometimes students. For example, George Washington Carver (an ISU alum and former faculty member) has had numerous biographies published about him; however, the University Archives also contains many more details about Carver than what has been published to date.