Who's Who publications are a good starting point for verifying names of well known people. Biographies provide more detailed information.
Professional directories are good sources to verifiy the professional activities of specialist.
Written by subject specialists, encyclopedias are good starting points to verify facts and to ensure your understand specific terminology. Here is just a small sample of the type of encyclopedias in the Library's electronic collections.
Oxford Reference is a single cross-searchable resource. It combines "quality, up-to-date reference content" form 2 large collections: