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Geographic Biographical Sources
Many of the resources available for biographers are arranged by geographical location. These resources can help the researcher find more specific information on individuals not included in the general indexes.
Current Biography Yearbook (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1940- ) *R-RMRR CT100 .C8. This annual is a valuable source for biographical data on contemporary people from all professions (including literary, sports, and political figures). The essay-length entries (which include brief bibliographies) provide not only data about a person's life and career but also his or her physical characteristics (such as height, color of eyes, etc.) and a photograph. A cumulated index exists for the years 1940 through 1995; the 2000 edition indexes the years 1991 through 2000.
International Who's Who (London: Europa, 1935- ) Current issue is available under Pub. Cat. CT120 .I5; older volumes are cataloged under AA. This annual provides succinct biographical data for notables from around the world and is prefaced by an enumeration of reigning royal houses.
International Who's Who of Women (London: Europa Publications Limited, 1992- )*R-RMRR CT3235 .I58, for latest edition. For earlier editions, check CATNYP. Brief entries on notable women.
Who's Who in the World (Chicago: Marquis, 1971- ) Current issue available under *R-RMRR CT120 .W5; older issues available under N-10 2865. Like International Who's Who, this biennial provides brief biographical data for the world's notables; while there is some duplication, each work contains names unique to itself.
Biographie Universelle Ancienne et Moderne, edited by J. Fr. Michaud (Graz: Akademische Druck, 1966-1970, reprint of 1843-1865 edition), 45 vols. *R-RMRR CT143 .M52. Commonly known by the author's last name, this dictionary of universal biography is noted for its scholarly articles and lengthy bibliographies, whose titles are supplied in French even when the materials were originally published in another language. Individuals covered represent all times and places, but there is a distinct emphasis on French notables.
Chalmers, Alexander. The General Biographical Dictionary (London: Printed for J. Nichols, 1812-1817), 32 vols. JFD 98-8590.. This biographical dictionary, characterized by long, discursive entries, covers people from all places and times with a particular focus on the British Isles.
Hoefer, Jean C. E. Nouvelle Biographie Generale (Paris: Didot 1852-1868), 46 vols., *R-RMRR CT143 .N934. While this work is similar in many respects to Michaud's Biographie Universelle, its entries tend to be shorter and less scholarly. In addition, the bibliographies supplied by Hoefer provide titles in the original tongue.
The Continuum Dictionary of Women's Biography (New York: Continuum, 1989) *R-RMRR CT3202 .C66. This work provides brief biographical entries for prominent women.
The New Century Cyclopedia of Names (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1954), 3 vols.; available under Pub. Cat. PE1625 .C43. (For other editions, check CATNYP.) This compilation of proper names (including persons, places, historical events, etc.) is valuable for its concise biographical information on world notables.
Thomas, Joseph. Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology, 5th edition (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1930) *R-RMRR CT103 .L7. (For other editions, check CATNYP.) This biographical dictionary, noted for its emphasis on pronunciation, provides brief biographical data on historical and mythological figures.
Merriam-Webster’s Biographical Dictionary (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1995); available under Pub. Cat. CT103 .M47. (For other editions, check CATNYP.) This dictionary provides condensed biographical sketches of notable men and women. Like the previous item, it is an excellent source for the pronunciation of names.
Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia (Waterford, CT: Yorkin Publications, 1999- ), 16 vols. *R-RMRR HQ1115 .W6. Biographical essays on women of achievement representing all times and places.
Who's Who in America (Chicago: Marquis, 1899/1900- ) *R-RMRR CT213 .W56; for other copies check CATNYP. This and related Marquis titles are also available electronically as Marquis Who’s Who on the Web. This biennial is the leading source for information on contemporary Americans. Biographical data is supplied by the biographees themselves, and individuals may be dropped when they are no longer considered prominent.
Who's Who in America is supplemented by regional editions which supply biographical data on persons not listed in the main work. These regional editions are issued biennially by Marquis:
Consult CATNYP for the locations of the most recent editions of these titles as well as for the older editions.
Who's Who among Black Americans (Northbrook, Illinois: Who's Who among Black Americans, 1975/ 76- ). Current edition available under *R-RMRR E185.96 .W52 For older editions, please check CATNYP. This publication is issued at irregular intervals; the biographees themselves supplied the information.
Who's Who of American Women (Chicago: Marquis: 1958/59- ); current edition available under *R-RMRR E176 .W647. For older editions, consult CATNYP for call number. This biennial conforms to other Marquis biographical dictionaries in that the information is supplied by the biographees themselves.
American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 24 vols. *R- RMRR CT213 .A68 and *R-USLHG IAD 99-2024; also available electronically. Considered to be the successor to Dictionary of American Biography, this, too, contains scholarly articles on noted Americans with bibliographies. Indexes by subject, contributor, place of birth, and occupation and realm of renown.
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (Detroit: Gale, 1968 reprint of 1888 edition and its 1901 supplement), 7 vols.; *R-RMRR CT101 .A652C. This biographical dictionary contains not only long articles about its subjects but also a significant number of portraits and facsimiles of autographs. Its analytical index (in vol. 6) is useful for subjects and names not treated separately.
Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Scribner, 1944-64), 11 vols. with 8 supplements covering those who died through 1970. *R-RMRR CT213 .D53. This is the leading biographical dictionary for Americans and is noted for its scholarly articles and bibliographies. Indexes include arrangement by subject, contributor, birthplace, and occupation.
Logan, Rayford W. Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: Norton, 1982). *R-RMRR E185.96 .L6. This biographical dictionary on American blacks includes black men and women who achieved prominence in the history of the United States. Articles generally are scholarly, and brief bibliographies are included.
National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: J. T. White: 1892- ), 63 vols. *R-RMRR CT213 .N38. (For other copies, check CATNYP.) This biographical dictionary of Americans is more comprehensive than the Dictionary of American Biography but lacks the scholarly approach and the bibliographies characteristic of the latter work. The entries in the National Cyclopaedia are unsigned and are largely based upon questionnaires and other information supplied by families of the biographees. Since this dictionary is not alphabetically arranged, access to the entries is through the general index. While the focus of this work is on the deceased, volumes entitled "current" or "lettered" include those living at the time of compilation. Portraits are supplied throughout the set.
Notable American Women, 1607-1950; A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge: Belknap, 1971), 3 vols. *R-RMRR CT3260 .N57. This scholarly work (with bibliographies) provides biographical sketches of approximately 1,400 women who achieved prominence or recognition in American life. b1836827 Supplemented by Notable American Women: The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge: Belknap, 1980) also in *R-RMRR CT3260 .N573.
Notable Americans: What They Did, from 1620 to the Present (Detroit: Gale, 1988); available under Pub. Cat. E176 .N89. This work provides chronological enumerations of American officeholders of various kinds (e.g. congressmen, cabinet members, governors, mayors, college presidents, and leaders of the Confederacy). Indexes are arranged by personal name and organization. This reference book supersedes White's Conspectus of American Biography.
The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998- ), 7 vols., in progress *R-RMRR CT213 .S37. . Biographical essays on notables who have died since 1981. Bibliographies included. Indexes by occupation and contributor.
Who Was Who in America (Chicago: Marquis, 1942- ) *R-RMRR CT210 .W62. Historical volume with 14 supplements (in progress). The principal volume of this work, entitled Historical Volume, 1607-1896, consists of biographical sketches of people prominent in American history; the supplements, covering the period from 1897 through 2002, include sketches of those people removed from Who's Who in America after their death. An index, arranged by name of biographee, covers the Historical Volume as well as the supplements.
Willard, Frances E. American Women (Detroit: Gale, 1973 reprint of 1897 edition), 2 vols. SNE (Willard). This work consists of brief biographical sketches of prominent women in nineteenth-century America. Particularly useful for its portraits of nearly all biographees and a classified index arranged by vocation.
Who's Who in France (Paris: Lafitte, 1953- ) *R-RMRR CT143 .W46; older editions cataloged under JFM 86-475. Despite its English title, the entries in this biennial biographical dictionary appear only in French. Coverage includes not only residents of France but also French nationals living overseas and Francophone persons in former French colonies.
Dictionnaire de Biographie Francaise (Paris: Letouzey, 1933- ), 20 vols., in progress.*R-RMRR CT143 .D5. This dictionary of national biography, characterized by scholarly articles and lengthy bibliographies, should be used in conjunction with Michaud's Biographie Universelle and Hoefer's Nouvelle Biographie Generale.
Wer ist wer? (Berlin: Degner, 1905- ) *R-RMRR CT153 .W3; older editions, which appeared at irregular intervals, are cataloged under AGK (Wer ist’s). Entries for biographees are brief, and some portraits are included. Although this work is now published under the title Wer ist Wer?, the Library still catalogs the superseded editions under its original designation.
Who's Who in Germany (Munich: Intercontinental Book and Pub. Co., 1956-) *R-RMRR DD85 .W45; earlier editions in K-10 38. Written in English, this biographical dictionary (issued irregularly) provides sketches of prominent persons in Germany.
Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1967-71 reprint of 1875-1912 edition), 56 vols. *R-RMRR CT1053 .A52. This standard German biographical dictionary includes long, scholarly articles with bibliographies and is limited to those who were deceased at time of publication. Because of the supplements found in many volumes, it is necessary to employ the index to obtain the complete record of a biographee.
Neue Deutsche Biographie (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1953- ), 23 vols, in progress. *R-RMRR CT1053 .N4. Like the above work, this dictionary is limited to deceased persons; it, too, is characterized by authoritative articles and bibliographies. However, Neue Deutsche Biographie is more comprehensive in that it includes notables who have died since Allegemeine Deutsche Biographie was published as well as additional figures from earlier periods. Each volume has its own index, which includes references to all entries in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie.
Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopadie (Munich: K.G. Saur, 1995- ), 12 vols., in progress *R-RMRR CT759 .D48. Brief entries on prominent people in German history. b3510977 It is now being translated into English as Dictionary of German Biography (Munich: K.G. Saur, 2001- ), 10 vols., in progress *R-RMRR CT759 .D4813.
Who's Who in Italy (Milan: 1957- ) *R-RMRR CT163 .W5, latest edition. Earlier editions under K-10 1449. Brief entries in English on contemporary Italians.
Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Rome: Instituto della Rnciclopedia Italiana, 1960- ), 65 vols., in progress. *R-RMRR CT1123 .D5, with duplicate copy in JFL 80-7. Scholarly essays on major figures in Italy, with extensive bibliographies.
Who's Who, an Annual Biographical Dictionary (London: Black, 1849- ). Latest five years available under *R-RMRR CT773 .W6; older editions cataloged under AA. This annual, the prototype of all Who's Who books, offers brief biographical sketches of prominent people in Britain (some international notables also included).
Dictionary of National Biography (London: Oxford University Press, 1967-1968, reprint of 1921-22 edition), 27 vols. including supplements (vols. 22 through 27) covering the years 1901 through 1950. JFE 04-14568. This definitive biographical dictionary includes noteworthy and prominent people of the British Isles, British colonies, and colonial America, and is characterized by its scholarly approach and extensive bibliographies. Scope is limited to those deceased at time of publication; there is an index for the main set and each supplement includes a cumulative index covering all entries from 1901 in one alphabetical sequence. Check CATNYP for other editions, including supplements, the last of which covers the period ending in 1990.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 60 vols. *R-RMRR CT773 .D55; also available electronically. The revised version of the Dictionary of National Biography, this new work contains over 50,000 biographies of notable people from the British past.
Who's Who in British History: Beginnings to 1901 (London; Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1998), 2 vols. *R-RMRR DA28 .W616. Brief entries on notable British figures. Researchers should also consult the Who’s Who in British History Series, a multi-volume set with chronological arrangement. Since each volume of this series has its own unique call number, search CATNYP under the title entry Who’s Who in British History Series to bring up the various volumes.
Who Was Who (London: Black, 1929- ), main volume (1897-1915) with supplements covering the period through 2005. *R-RMRR CT773 .W65. Included here are the original biographical sketches as they appeared in Who's Who with the date of death added.
Australian Dictionary of Biography (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press; London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1966- ), 17 vols., in progress. *R-RMRR CT2802 .A95. A supplement, found under the same call number, covers additions for the period 1580-1980 and also includes a name index through 1980.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966- ), 15 vols., in progress. *R-RMRR CT280 .D53; also available electronically. Arranged chronologically from 1000 to 1930, this is the definitive work on Canadian biography. There is an index for vols. 1 through 4; in addition, each volume has its own indexes arranged by name, geography, and occupation or area of interest.
Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, edited by Joseph C. Tardiff and L. Mpho Mabunda (New York: Gale Research, 1996) *R-RMRR CT1343 .D53.
Mendez Mendez, Serafin. Notable Caribbeans and Caribbean Americans: A Biographical Dictionary (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2003) *R-RMRR CT329 .M46.
Who's Who in Spain (Montreal: Intercontinental Book and Pub. Co., 1963- ) *R-RMRR CT1343 .W46, latest edition. Earlier editions under K-10 5342. Brief entries in English on prominent people in Spain.