The best collections of published biographies are at the
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 FHL 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. (FHL book 974.8 D3e vols. 1-6, 15, 25-26; on 4 FHL films beginning with 1697289 item 9; on 35 FHL fiche beginning with 6048701.) These biographies may contain much genealogical information.
An index to these biographies 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. (FHL 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. (FHL 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. (FHL book 974.8 D3p.)