List of biographical reference works

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This list contains general biographical reference works as well as group biographies , i.e. those that are limited to certain groups of the people represented, such as writers or scientists . A list of biographical reference works according to spatial structure ( national , regional and local biographies ) can be found under List of National, Regional and Local Biographies .


  • The Cambridge biographical dictionary. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996.
  • The Cambridge biographical encyclopedia. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1998.
  • Chambers Biographical Dictionary. 8th edition. Chambers, Edinburgh 2007, ISBN 978-0-550-10200-3 .
  • Dictionary of International Biography. Edited by Ernest Kay. International Biographical Center, Cambridge 1963 ff.
  • Dictionary of world biography. 10 volumes. Fitzroy Dearborn, Chicago et al. 1998-2000. Epochs in individual volumes.
  • Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd Edition. 17 volumes. Gale, Detroit 1998.
  • Harenberg Personal Lexicon, 20th Century. 4000 biographies from the 20th century. Harenberg, Dortmund 2003.
  • Merriam-Webster's biographical dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Miss. 1995.
  • Munzinger Archive / International Biographical Archive - Current People. Ravensburg.
  • Who's who .
  • Who's who in international organizations. A biographical encyclopedia of more than 21,000 leading personalities. Published by Union of International Associations. 2 volumes. 5th edition. Saur, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-598-11725-6 .
  • Who's Who in the World. Marquis Who's Who, New Providence, NJ.
  • Who what who. Containing the biographies of those who died during the decade. Black, London 1897 ff.
  • World Biographical Information System Online (WBIS).
  • Roswitha Glück, Rainer Nier-Glück: The large encyclopedia of people on world history in color . 2 volumes. Chronik-Verlag, Dortmund 1983, ISBN 3-88379-018-4 .
  • Hans Herzfeld (ed.): History in shapes . 4 volumes. Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main 1963 (= The Fischer Lexicon Volume 37, 38, 39, 40).
  • Heinz Tillmann et al. (Ed.): Biographies on world history. Lexicon . Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-326-00218-1 .
  • Edward Vernoff: The Penguin international dictionary of contemporary biography. From 1900 to the present. Penguin Reference, New York 2001, ISBN 0-670-89470-2 .


biographical encyclopedias published before 1900

  • Charles N. Baldwin: A universal biographical dictionary, comprising the most eminent characters of every age and nation, embracing all individuals who have been distinguished among mankind from the earliest periods of history to the present time, to which is added, a dictionary of the principal divinities and heroes of Grecian and Roman mythology. S. Andrus and Son, Hartford 1856.
  • William Oldys (Ed.): Biographia Britannica. 6 volumes. 1747-1766. 2nd Edition. 1778–1793 (incomplete, 5 volumes Aa – Fa published).
  • John Watkins: An universal biographical and historical dictionary. Containing a faithful account of the lives ... of the most eminent persons of all ages and all countries. Phillips, London 1800.




  • Encyclopedia of Islam. Geographical, ethnographical and biographical dictionary of the Muslim peoples. In association with outstanding orientalists, ed. by Martijn Theodor Houtsma, Thomas W. Arnold et al. Brill, Leiden 1913–1938. 4 volumes and 1 supplementary volume.


  • Who's who in world Jewry. A biographical dictionary of outstanding Jews. Edited by Itzhak J. Carmin. Olive Books of Israel, Reka-Or, Tel-Aviv 1978.

Visual arts

General dictionaries:

  • Ulrich Thieme , Felix Becker , Hans Vollmer (Hrsg.): General lexicon of the visual artists from antiquity to the present. Usually quoted as Thieme-Becker , abbreviated ThB . 37 volumes. Wilhelm Engelmann / EA Seemann, Leipzig 1907–1950.
  • General Lexicon of Visual Artists of the XX. Century . Grsg. by Hans Vollmer. 6 volumes. EA Seemann, Leipzig 1953–1962 (appeared as a supplement to Thieme-Becker).
  • General artist lexicon. The visual artists of all times and peoples. Co-edited and founded by Günter Meißner . 107 volumes with 5 supplementary volumes (as of 2020). KG Saur, Munich / Leipzig 1992–2010, from 2010 De Gruyter, Berlin. Currently the most comprehensive general reference work on the visual arts.
  • Saur General Artist Lexicon. Manual . KG Saur, Munich / Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-598-22818-X ; ISBN 978-3-598-22818-6 .
  • Saur General Artist Lexicon. 2nd expanded and updated edition. 12 volumes. KG Saur, Munich / Leipzig 2007–2009, ISBN 978-3-598-24555-8 .
  • General artist lexicon, bio-bibliographical index by profession = The artists of the world bio-bibliographical index by profession . 13 volumes. KG Saur, Munich / Leipzig 2002–2003, ISBN 3-598-24690-0 .

Special regions and areas:

  • Biographical encyclopedia of Swiss art including the Principality of Liechtenstein / Dictionnaire biographique de l'art suisse. Edited by the Swiss Institute for Art Research Zurich and Lausanne. 2 volumes. Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich 1998, ISBN 3-85823-673-X .
  • Kurt Flemig : Caricaturist Lexicon. Saur, Munich et al. 1993, ISBN 3-598-10932-6 .
  • Roger M. Gorenflo: Directory of visual artists from 1880 to the present day. A biographical and bibliographical reference work on contemporary art. 2 volumes. Brün, Rüsselsheim / Main 1988, ISBN 3-926759-00-3 .
  • Timm Starl (Ed.) Lexicon on photography in Austria from 1839 to 1945 , with information on people who were formerly and / or still working in Austria


  • Baker's biographical dictionary of musicians. Revised by Nicolas Slonimsky. 8th edition. Schirmer, New York 1992, ISBN 0-02-872415-1 .
  • Author's manual music. Scientists and authors in the fields of musicology, music criticism and musical journalism in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Contact addresses, research areas, fields of work, publications and other activities. A handbook to promote professional and interdisciplinary cooperation. Kuhn, Berlin 1997 ff.
  • Biographical dictionary of Russian composers. Edited by Allan Ho and Dmitry Feofanov. Greenwood, New York 1989, ISBN 0-313-24485-5 .
  • The Brockhaus, music. Composers, interpreters, technical terms. 3rd, updated and revised. Edition. FA Brockhaus, Mannheim 2006, ISBN 3-7653-0393-3 .
  • German biographical encyclopedia of music. On the basis of the German Biographical Encyclopedia edited by Walther Killy and Rudolf Vierhaus . by Bruno Jahn. 2 volumes. Saur, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-598-11586-5 .
  • International who's who in classical music. Routledge, London 2002 ff., ISSN  1740-0155 .
  • International who's who in popular music. Routledge, London 2002 ff., ISSN  1740-0163 .
  • Contemporary composers. Edited by Hanns-Werner Heister and Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer. Ed. Text and criticism, München 1992 f.
  • Contemporary composers in the German Composers' Association. A manual. Edited by the German Composers' Association. 5th edition. ConBrio, Regensburg 2000, ISBN 3-932581-34-2 .
  • International biographical index of music: composers, conductors, instrumentalists and singers / World biographical index of music. With an escort by Kurt Dorfmüller. 2 volumes. Saur, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-598-33810-4 .
  • Meyers Taschenlexikon Musik. Edited by Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht. 3 volumes. Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim et al. 1984, ISBN 3-411-01995-6 .
  • Reclam's Jazz Lexicon. Person lexicon ed. by Wolf Kampmann. Subject lexicon by Ekkehard Jost. 2., ext. and updated edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-15-010731-7 .
  • Skirt. The ultimate guide to rock music. Over 1000 artists and bands. Edited by Peter Buckley. 2., ext. and updated edition. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2004, ISBN 3-476-01891-1 .
  • Swiss choir composer. Biographies, catalog raisonnés with discography and bibliography / Compositeurs suisses d'oeuvres chorales. Biographies, catalogs d'oeuvres avec discographie et bibliographie. Edited by the SUISA Foundation for Music. HUG, Zurich 1999.
  • Swiss composers of our time. Biographies, catalog raisonnés with discography and bibliography / Compositeurs Suisses de notre temps. Amadeus, Winterthur / Switzerland 1993, ISBN 3-905049-05-8 .
  • Swiss contemporary composers. A documentation. Edited by the Women's Music Forum. Editing by Sibylle Ehrismann and Thomas Meyer. Musik-Hug, Zurich 1985, ISBN 3-906415-96-1 .
  • Who's who in American music: classical. Edited by Jacques Cattell Press. Bowker, New York 1983 ff., ISSN  0737-9137 .
  • Who's who in opera. Arno Press, New York 1976, ISBN 0-405-06652-X .
  • Ian Carr , Digby Fairweather , Brian Priestley : Rough Guide Jazz. The ultimate guide to jazz. 1800 bands and artists from the beginning until today. 2nd, expanded and updated edition. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2004, ISBN 3-476-01892-X .
  • Robert Eitner: Biographical-bibliographical source lexicon of musicians and music scholars of the Christian era up to the mid-nineteenth century. 11 volumes. 2nd, improved edition. Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden 1959 f.
  • Leonard Feather: The biographical encyclopedia of jazz. With the assistance of Swing Journal, Tokyo. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 1999, ISBN 0-19-507418-1 .
  • Thomas Jeier: Lexicon of Country Music. Heyne, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-453-00060-9 .
  • Karl-Josef Kutsch , Leo Riemens : Large singer lexicon . 7 volumes. 4th, exp. and updated edition. Saur, Munich 2003 ff., ISBN 3-598-11598-9 .
  • Michael Rudolf, Frank Schäfer: Lexicon of rock guitarists from Ritchie Blackmore to Frank Zappa. Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-89602-202-4. Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-89602-202-4 .
  • Siegfried Schmidt-Joos, Wolf Kampmann: Rock Lexicon. 2 volumes. Complete revised and exp. New edition Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 2008.
  • Hans Steinbeck, Walter Labhart: Swiss composers of our time. Atlantis-Verlag, Zurich / Freiburg i. Br. 1975, ISBN 3-7611-0463-4 .

Stage and film

  • German Theater Lexicon. Biographical and bibliographical manual. Founded by Wilhelm Kosch. Continued by Ingrid Bigler-Marschall. de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1953 ff.
  • Kürschner's biographical theater manual. Drama, opera, film, radio. Germany, Austria, Switzerland. Edited by Herbert A. Frenzel and Hans Joachim Moser. de Gruyter. Berlin 1956.
  • Johann Caspar Glenzdorf: Glenzdorf's international film lexicon. Biographical manual for the entire film industry. 3 volumes. Prominent-Filmverlag, Bad Münder (Deister) 1960 f.
  • Piet Hein Honig, Hanns-Georg Rodek: 100001. The show business encyclopedia of the 20th century. Showbiz-Data-Verlag, Villingen-Schwenningen 1992, ISBN 3-929009-01-5 .
  • Curt Bernd Sucher (Ed.): Theater Lexicon. Volume 1: Christine Dössel, Marietta Piekenbrock: authors, directors, actors, dramaturges, stage designers, critics. Completely reworked. and exp. 2nd Edition. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-03322-3 .
  • Frithjof Trapp (Ed.): Handbook of the German-speaking Exile Theater 1933–1945. 2 volumes in 3. Saur, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-598-11373-0 .
  • Paul S. Ulrich: Biographical directory for theater, dance and music. List of references from German-language reference works and yearbooks. 2 volumes. Berlin-Verlag Spitz, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-87061-673-3 .


  • Author lexicon of German-language literature of the 20th century. Edited by Manfred Brauneck with the collaboration of Wolfgang Beck. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-499-16355-1 .
  • BI-Lexicon East Asian literatures. Author collective under the direction of Jürgen Berndt. Bibliographical Institute, Leipzig 1985.
  • Chronological Lexicon of Portuguese Literature. After the Pequeno roteiro da literatura portuguesa. Updated and revised by Ilídio Rocha. Translated by Renate Heß. TFM, Ferrer de Mesquita, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-925203-62-1 .
  • The German literature of the Middle Ages - author's lexicon. Lim. by Wolfgang Stammler. Continued by Karl Langosch. Edited by Burghart Wachinger. 10 volumes. 2., completely reworked. Edition. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York, ISBN 978-3-11-022248-7 .
  • German Literature Lexicon. Biographical-bibliographical manual. Founded by Wilhelm Kosch. 3., completely reworked. Edition. Francke, Bern / Munich 1966 ff.
  • Kürschner's German Literature Calendar . de Gruyter, Berlin. Initially Göschen, Leipzig 1903 ff., ISSN  0343-0936 .
  • Lexicon of German-Jewish Authors Editor: Renate Heuer. Archives Bibliographia Judaica. 21 volumes. de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1992–2011, ISBN 978-3-598-22680-9 .
  • Lexicon of contemporary German-language literature since 1945 . by Hermann Kunisch. Continued by Herbert Wiesner. New ed. by Thomas Kraft. 2 volumes. Complete revised and updated new edition. Nymphenburger, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-485-00989-X .
  • Lexicon of Swiss literatures. As part of the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation ed. by Pierre-Olivier Walzer. Lenos, Basel 1991, ISBN 3-85787-206-3 .
  • Metzler Lexicon GDR literature. Authors - Institutions - Debates. Edited by Michael Opitz and Michael Hofmann. Among employees by Julian Kanning. Metzler, Weimar / Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-476-02238-7 .
  • Metzler Lexicon of German-Jewish Literature. Jewish authors in the German language from the Enlightenment to the present. Edited by Andreas B. Kilcher. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2000, ISBN 3-476-01682-X .
  • Contemporary writers: Switzerland / Ecrivaines et écrivains d'aujourd'hui. Edited by the Swiss Association of Writers. Sauerländer, Aarau 2002, ISBN 3-0345-0011-4 .
  • Who's who in literature. A biographical encyclopedia containing some 8000 biographies and addresses of prominent personalities, publishing companies, libraries and archives, associations and organizations of the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Who's Who - Book & Publishing, Wörthsee 1978.
  • The Writers directory. St. James Press, Detroit 1971 ff., ISSN  0084-2699 .
  • Palmira Morais Rocha de Almeida: Dicionário de autores no Brasil colonial. 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Colibri, Lisboa 2010, ISBN 978-989-689-045-2 .
  • Simone Barck (Ed.): Lexicon of socialist literature. Their history in Germany until 1945. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1994, ISBN 3-476-01237-9 .
  • Jean-Pierre Beaumarchais: Dictionnaire des écrivains de langue française. 2 volumes. Bordas, Paris 2001.
  • Wolfgang Buchwald, Armin Hohlweg, Otto Prinz: Tusculum Lexicon of Greek and Latin Authors of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. 3., rework. u. exp. Edition. Artemis, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7608-1641-X .
  • Winfried Engler : Lexicon of French Literature (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 388). Kröner, Stuttgart 1974, ISBN 3-520-38801-4 (new edition: Komet, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-89836-265-5 ).
  • Ute Hechtfischer (Ed.): Metzler-Autorinnen-Lexikon. Metzler, Weimar / Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-476-01550-5 .
  • Janheinz Jahn, Ulla Schild, Almut Nordmann: Who's who in African literature. Biographies, works, commentaries. Erdmann, Tübingen / Basel 1972, ISBN 3-7711-0153-0 .
  • Wolfgang Kasack: Lexicon of Russian literature of the 20th century. 2., rework. and substantially exp. Edition. Sagner, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-87690-459-5 . Supplementary volume 2000, ISBN 3-87690-761-6 .
  • Walther Killy (Ed.): Literature Lexicon. 15 volumes. Bertelsmann-Lexikon-Verlag, Gütersloh / Munich 1988–1993.
  • Paul Kroh: Lexicon of ancient authors (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 366). Kröner, Stuttgart 1972, ISBN 3-520-36601-0 .
  • Dieter Reichardt (Ed.): Author Lexicon Latin America. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-518-40485-7 .
  • Rudolf Simek , Hermann Pálsson : Lexicon of old Norse literature. Kröner, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-520-49001-3 .
  • Bernhard Sowinski: Lexicon of German-speaking dialect authors. Olms, Hildesheim et al. 1997, ISBN 3-487-10381-8 .
  • Gerhard Steiner (Ed.): Lexicon of foreign language writers. From the beginning to the present. 3 volumes. Bibliographical Institute, Leipzig 1977 ff.
  • Gero von Wilpert : Lexicon of world literature. Biographical and bibliographical concise dictionary based on authors and anonymous works. 2 volumes. Special edition the 4th, completely reworked. Edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008.


  • Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar . Bio-bibliographical directory of contemporary German-speaking scientists. Founded by Joseph Kürschner. de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 1925 ff., ISSN  1616-8399 .
  • World who's who in science. A biographical dictionary of notable scientists from antiquity to the present. Ed. by Allen G. Debus and Stephen J. Kennedy. Marquis Who's Who, Chicago 1968.
  • Jaques Cattell Press (Ed.): Directory of American scholars. 4 vols. 7th ed. Bowker, New York & London 1978.
  • Christian Gottlieb Jöcher: General lexicon of scholars, in which the scholars of all levels ... are described in alphabetical order. 4 vols. Leipzig 1750. 7 supplementary volumes Leipzig a. a. 1784-1894. Reprint: Olms, Hildesheim 1960 f ..
  • Biographical-literary concise dictionary for the history of the exact sciences The biographical-literary concise dictionary for the history of the exact sciences was founded in 1863 by Johann Christian Poggendorff (1796–1877). This collection contains places of birth and death, dates, subject areas and other biographical data from natural scientists.
  • Charles C. Gillispie (Editor): Dictionary of Scientific Biography . Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1970–1980, 15 volumes and an index volume, ISBN 0-684-10114-9 , Supplement II, edited by Frederic Lawrence Holmes, 2 volumes, 1990, ISBN 0-684-16962-2 (ISBN of the complete edition ).
  • Concise Dictionary of Scientific Biography , Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1981, ISBN 0-684-16650-X
  • Isaac Asimov : Biographical Encyclopedia of Natural Sciences and Technology , Herder, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 1974, ISBN 3-451-16718-2
  • Kendall Haven, Donna Clark: 100 Most Popular Scientists for Young Adults: Biographical Sketches and Professional Paths , Libraries Unlimited, Englewood 1999, ISBN 978-1-56308-674-8


  • Biographical lexicon of the outstanding doctors of all times and peoples. Edited by August Hirsch. Through u. supplemented by Wilhelm Haberling, Franz Hübotter, H. Vierordt. 3rd, unchanged. [photomechan.] edition. 5 volumes. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich / Berlin 1962.
  • Biographical lexicon of the outstanding doctors of the last fifty years. Edited by Isidor 3 volumes. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin 1932 ff.
  • Biographical Archive of Psychiatry (BIAPSY). Hochschule Niederrhein, Krefeld 2013 ff. ( Online , article on personalities in the field of psychiatry)


  • anonymous (ie Samuel Baur ): Characteristics of the educational writers in Germany. A handbook for educators . Johann Benjamin Fleischer, Leipzig 1790, digitized SLUB ; MDZ reader

Social sciences

  • American men & women of science. Social and behavioral sciences. Bowker, New York 1973 ff.
  • International Sociological Lexicon. Ed. by Wilhelm Bernsdorf and Horst Knospe. 2 vols. 2nd edition Enke, Stuttgart 1980/1984.
  • Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar . Bio-bibliographical directory of contemporary German-speaking scientists. Humanities and Social Sciences. de Gruyter, Berlin 1996.


  • Wilfried Kürschner: Linguist Handbook. Biographical and bibliographical data of German-speaking linguists of the present. Narr, Tübingen, ISBN 3-8233-5000-5 .




  • Who is who in Austrian sport. An encyclopedia with approx. 1400 biographies of personalities in Austrian sports. Who is Who, publisher for celebrity encyclopedias, Zug 1993.

See also


  • Klaus Schreiber: Biographical Information Media: Typology with Examples: Reviews of 836 general and technical collective biographies from the beginning of the nineties to the end of 1998. 2 volumes. German Library Institute, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-87068-549-2 .

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