Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

People and Places

Online "premium" databases you can access for free with your library card. Not a member? Join online

Gale Biography In Context

Gale Biography in Context is an improved experience from the Biography Resource Centre for those seeking contextual information on the world's most influential people. The new solution merges Gale's authoritative reference content (including Lives & Perspectives) with periodicals and multimedia organized into a user-friendly portal experience while also allowing users to search for people based on name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places, or gender as well as keyword and full text.

Gale Biography in Context

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online offers over 73,000 encyclopaedia articles, both short and book-length. Other content includes over 300,000 articles from respected magazines and journals, today's news headlines from the NZ Herald and BBC News, and links to relevant websites.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

MasterFILE Complete

This huge database provides full text for nearly 1,950 general periodicals covering a range of subjects including current affairs, business, entertainment, education, health, general science, multi-cultural issues and much more. Also features full text from 88,000 biographies.

MasterFILE Complete

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Art Online has more than 45,000 encyclopaedia-style articles on the visual arts, including more than 21,000 biographies of artists and craftsmen. While it is particularly strong on European art up to the 20th century, other cultures, countries, and regions are represented from pre-history to today.

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Music Online

This database is the leading online resource for music research and features more than 50,000 articles on musicians, composers, musicologists, and much more.

Oxford Music Online

Literature Resource Center

Includes biographical, bibliographical, critical, and contextual information on more than 120,000 authors and their works. Features include Scribner Writer's Series of 15-20 page signed essays on more than 1,600 authors and literary genres, as well as the full text of 200 frequently used Twayne Literary Masters books on individual World, US, or English authors.

Literature Resource Center

Australia & New Zealand Newsstream

Formerly ProQuest ANZ Newsstand

This database offers full text access to national and provincial newspapers in Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand titles include The Dominion Post, The New Zealand Herald, The Press (Christchurch), Sunday Star-Times, Truth, and past issues of The Evening Post and The Dominion. Many titles can be searched going back several years.

If the person is a well known New Zealander, you might find articles in one of these publications:

Australia & NZ Newsstream


Other useful sites

These are sites that don't require a login (freely available online sites), that you may also find useful:

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Te Ara)

This website contains over 3,000 biographies of New Zealanders who have made their mark on this country. It does not include people who are alive, so you will not find people like Helen Clark or John Key, but you will find people like George Nepia or Michael Joseph Savage.

The site includes the collected biographies originally published in the printed Dictionary of New Zealand Biography series between 1990 and 2000, and in the parallel Maori-language series, Nga Tangata Taumata Rau. The 'Our Land, Our People' section includes material from the New Zealand Historical Atlas. It presents snapshots of places, times, events and trends in New Zealand history, linked to the biographical content.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Te Ara)

Index New Zealand

Index New Zealand is a searchable database that contains abstracts and descriptions of articles from about 1000 New Zealand periodicals and newspapers published from the 1950s to the present day. The periodicals range from academic research journals to magazines. Around 3000 new records are added monthly from 460 current titles.

Although INNZ doesn't have the full text of articles, it indexes a huge number of New Zealand magazines, newspapers and journals, and can be hugely useful for finding articles on your area of interest from magazines and newspapers we hold in physical form in the library.

When you find an article you want to view, check to see if we hold the publication in our catalogue, and then either come in to view it, or reserve your copy to pick up at your preferred branch (a $2 charge applies). Issues of magazines older than 2 years are generally held in the periodicals 'stack' on the 2nd floor of the Central Library -- ask at the desk to view.

Comprehensive coverage of titles extends from 1987 onwards. Many New Zealand titles have also been retrospectively indexed.

Index New Zealand

NZ Edge - Legends

"Featuring 40+ definitive short biographies of New Zealanders who have changed or benefitted the world in some way. Working from New Zealand and internationally, these scientists, artists, designers, inventors, warriors, and adventurers are inspiration for achievement."

NZ Edge - Legends

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

The Australian Dictionary of Biography Online comprises volumes 1 to 16 in the continuing series, and the Supplementary Volume, of the printed ADB. The over 10,000 biographical articles are concise, authoritative accounts of the lives of significant and representative persons in Australian history who died before 1980. Print publication details, including the year, accompany each article.

Australian Dictionary of Biography

All Music Guide

This excellent resource provides searching ability for artists, albums, songs, styles and labels. Extensive biographical details for artists are included.

All Music Guide