Biography and genealogy master index.
--Essential first stop in biographical research. Indexes nearly 1600 publications, largely biographical dictionaries and subject encyclopedias, and includes references on over 13.6 million people.  Both current and retrospective works included. Indexes H. W. Wilson’s Biography Index: Past and Present 284724 which extends Biography and genealogy master index’s coverage to periodical articles.  Birth/death dates given. Searches can be limited to articles with portraits. Covers: Who’s Who [Great Britain] (1974- ), Who’s Who in America (1973-  ) , Who was Who in America, and American men and women of Science (1973- ; for earlier coverage see American men & women of science: cumulative index 375482). Also available in print  This is the electronic version of the discontinued microform Bio-base.

Additional indexing for the early 20th century available in Hefling & Richards' Index to contemporary biography and criticism.

Internationale Personalbibliographie / bearb. von Max Arnim. 2., verb. und stark verm. Aufl. Stuttgart, Anton Hiersemann, 1952-1987. |LOCATION: Widener: RR 1501.7 Library has: 5 Bd.
--Indexed in IBN   

Ireland, Norma Olin. Index to women of the world from ancient to modern times; biographies and portraits. Westwood, Mass., F. W. Faxon Co., 1970.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 1501. 24
--Companion to the compiler's Index to scientists of the world. Provides references to biographical sketches of about 13,000 women which appear in 945 collective biographies and a few series, such as Current biography 284996. Indicates location of portraits. Index to women of the world from ancient to modern times:a supplement 243159 analyzes some 380 collective biographies published from 1971 to about 1985. 
--Index and Suppl. Indexed in BGMI

Subject guide to women of the world provides topical and geographical indexes to Ireland's Index to Women of the World and its Supplement.

Lobies, Jean-Pierre. IBN: Index bio-bibliographicus notorum hominum. Osnabruck: Biblio Verlag, 1973-
LOCATION: Widener: RR 1501.15 
--Very important index of biographical information in biographical dictionaries and other reference works, although cumbersome to use. Indexes about 4000 collective biographies, published largely before 1970, covering all periods and countries.  Bulk of the works indexed are non-English.  Issued in bound volumes.  Currently indexes names only up to Lavrovskij (vol. 137, 2007).  Volume 99 (currently in 12 separate volumes) is an ongoing supplement.  For pre-1970, especially European, biographies can be a richer source than the World biographical information system, 164631 but much more laborious to use.  Volumes 48-145 (2007) available on CD-ROM.  The CD-ROM, unlike the World biographical information system, allows searching by place (city) name.

To be in five parts: (A) General introduction; (B) List of the evaluated biobibliographical works; (C) Corpus alphabeticum; (D) Supplement; (E) General index of references. Pts. A, D, and E not yet published.  Pt. B serves as a bibliography of collective biographies.  Universal biographical works are listed first (section I), followed by listings according to geographical, historical, or linguistic principles(section II), and by vocations and activities (section III). Additional lists of sources (supplements to pt. B) are found in v. 23-25, 40 and 47 of pt. C.  Each source listed in pt. B is assigned an identifying number.  These numbers are listed under each name in the alphabetical list of biographees in pt. C, and one must then look up the number in Pt. B.  Supplementary additions to the primary alphabetical sequence of pt. C are found in v. 10-12, 27, 29, 30, 44-47 of pt. C.  Pt. C also includes separately numbered volumes, titled Sectio Sinica cum Supplementa Coreano (2 v.), for Chinese (A-Bo Zong only) and Korean (A only) and Armenian, titled Sectio Armeniaca (4 v.), entries (A-U). 

The IBN indexes Armin’s Internationale Personalbibliographie.  300856

Index bio-bibliographicus notorum hominum IBN. Vols. 48-106 (Mar. 2000)- Osnabruck: F. Dietrich Verlag, 2000-
LOCATION: Widener: Harvard Depository XVTS 241 Library has: Latest disc only

People on people : the Oxford dictionary of biographical quotations / edited by Susan Ratcliffe. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001, 481 p.
Widener  |  WID-LC    |  PN6084.C44 P46 2001
--Quotations with sources (sometimes inexact) about well-known persons.  Serves as an index to more irreverent views of the subjects than are offered by the biographical dictionaries. A Biographical dictionary of quotations is a similar work. 437452   SUBMITTED

Riches, Phyllis M. An analytical bibliography of universal collected biography: comprising books published in the English tongue in Great Britain and Ireland, America and the British dominions. London: Library Association, 1934. LOCATION: Widener: RR 1501. 12
--An index to biographies of persons of various periods and nationalities in over 3000 English-language collective biographies.  In five sections: (1) analytical index, arranged alphabetically by biographee; (2) a bibliography of the works analyzed; (3) a chronological list of the biographees (by century); (4) a list of biographees arranged by profession or trade; (5) subject and title lists of major biographical dictionaries NOT indexed. 


Adamson, Lynda G. Notable women in world history : a guide to recommended biographies and autobiographies. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998. xiv, 401 p. 
Widener | WID-LC | CT3230.Z99 A33 1998x 
--Includes  500  women, all born outside the U. S.  Each entry has a short biography with annotated references to biographies, autobiographies, diaries, and published letters, all in English.  Appendices list the women by date of birth, occupation or reason for prominence, and by country of birth. 

ARBA guide to biographical dictionaries. Littleton, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1986.
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC CT103.Z99 A73 x, 1986
--Generous critical annotations for some 700 English language works selected from more than 2,500 reviews in American reference books annual (ARBA) which started in 1970. In two parts: Universal and national biographies; Professional fields. Whenever possible, dictionaries in print at the time of publication were selected. Continued by ARBA guide to biographical resources, 1986-1997.  Z5301.A82    SUBMITTED

Biographical sources for foreign countries Washington, 1944.   I. General.--II. Germany and Austria, compiled by N.R.  Burr.--III. The Philippines, compiled by Helen Dudenbostel Jones.--IV. The Japanese empire, compiled  by N.R. Burr.     
Widener | H 1139.44.10 
--Annotated list of biographical dictionaries, directories, and periodicals containing biographical information on living persons of the World War II era.   Largely organized by profession.  Many of the serial publications listed extend into pre- and post-War era.   Vol. I. General, vol. II. Germany and Austria, vol. III. The Philippines, vol. IV. The Japanese empire.  

Burt, Daniel S. The biography book: a reader's guide to nonfiction, fictional, and film biographies of more than 500 of the most fascinating individuals of all time. Westport, CT: Oryx Press, 2001.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 1501.10
--Selective, annotated list of biographical sources on 500 much written about persons, all deceased. For each figure there are sections (when material is available) on Autobiography and Primary Sources (i.e., personal writings), Recommended Biographies, Other Biographical Studies (memoirs by family/friends, etc.), Biographical Novels, Fictional Portraits, Recommended Juvenile Biographies, Biographical Films and Theatrical Adaptations. Indexes of: Books and other Works by Title; Figures by Nationality; Figures by Occupation; Figures by Time, Period, and Place; Subject (e.g., astronomy, Fauvism). 
--See also the St. James guide to biography which offers substantial signed articles reviewing English-language biographies of over 700 figures of all fields and time periods who are the subject of more than one significant biography.  With Anglo-American  emphasis but with reasonable coverage of Europeans.

Cimbala, Diane J., Jennifer Cargill, and Brian Alley. Biographical sources : a guide to dictionaries and reference works. Phoenix, AZ : Oryx Press, 1986, 146 p.
LOCATION: Widener | WID-LC | CT104.Z99 C55 x, 1986 HOLLIS entry under Graves, Diane J.

Farrell, Mary A. Who's whos: an international guide to sources of current biographical information. METRO miscellaneous publication; no. 21. New York, N.Y.: New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency, 1979.
LOCATION: Widener: B 8277. 47 no.21

Jarboe, Betty. Obituaries: a guide to sources. 2nd ed. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1989.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 683.21
--A bibliography of books, periodical articles, scrapbooks, clipping files, and some manuscript sources which include obituary notices or provide indexing to such notices. In three sections: (l) International sources; (2) United States sources (subdivided by state); (3) Foreign sources. Appendix of obituary card files. Many annotations; detailed subject index. The 2nd ed. more than doubles the number of sources listed in the 1st ed. (1982).

Lejeune, P. Inventaire des inventaires de textes autobiographiques.
--The Autopacte site includes Philippe Lejeune’s “Inventaire des inventaires de textes autobiographiques” which lists about 90 bibliographies of autobiographies by country. This website also includes extensive bibliographies of writings about autobiography as a genre.  SUBMITTED

Long, Jeffrey E. Remembered childhoods: a guide to autobiography and memoirs of childhood and youth. Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
--Lists of autobiographies and memoirs arranged in chapters on regions, experience (travel, nature, disease/disability, abuse, ethnic heritage), and adult occupation.  Covers English-language works, including translations into English. Each citation has a few subject terms. Indexes of subjects, settings (geographical), authors/titles. 

Schreiber, Klaus. Biographische Informationsmittel: Typologie mit Beispielen: Rezensionen von 836 allgemeinen und fachlichen Sammelbiographien von Anfang der neunziger Jahre bis Ende 1998;[OMITTED Samt einem Verzeichnis mit Schlagwortregister aller von 1974-1993 in der Rubrik Ausgewahlte Bibliographien und andere Nachschlagewerke der Zeitschrift fur Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie sowie in IFB 1 (1993)-6 (1998) besprochenen biographischen Informationsmittel. Informationsmittel fur Bibliotheken. Beiheft; 9. Berlin: Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut,] 1999. 
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC CT154.S38 1999x Library has: 2 v. 
--Annotated bibliography arranged by subject of 836 works of collective biography appearing in the 1990s together with an index of over 360 works, dating back to 1974, reviewed elsewhere.  Many other works are mentioned in the footnotes.  Worldwide coverage but strong emphasis on German-speaking countries.  Includes microform and electronic sources as well as books. 

Handbuch der bibliographischen Nachschlagewerke includes list of national biographies, v. 1, pp. 370-417.

Slocum, Robert B. Biographical dictionaries and related works: an international bibliography of more than 16,000 collective biographies ... 2nd ed. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1986.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 1501. 13.2  2 v.
--Subtitle: An international bibliography of more than 16,000 collective biographies, bio-bibliographies, collections of epitaphs, selected genealogical works, dictionaries of anonyms and pseudonyms, historical and specialized dictionaries, biographical materials in government manuals, bibliographies of biography, biographical indexes, and selected portrait catalogs. Devoted principally to biographical dictionaries. Entries are grouped as universal, national, and vocational biography, with appropriate subdivisions. Author, title, and subject indexes. Aims to represent all languages and cultures. An essential work. 1st ed., 1967; supplements, 1972, 1978. 

Ungherini, Aglauro. Manuel de bibliographie biographique et d'iconographie des femmes celebres. Turin: L. Roux, 1892-1905. Main work + 1st & 2nd suppl.
LOCATION: Houghton: Reading Room HRR 711 8 

Collective Biography

A to Z of women in world history, by Erika A. Kuhlman. New York: Facts on File, 2002
Focuses on women who have made significant contributions in human history, examined within their cultural and historical context. Entries are arranged alphabetically within chapters. Chapters represent roles of achievement, such as science and health, politics, athletics, religion, art, etc. A list of further reading concludes each entry. Cross-references.  Two-page bibliography. General index.

Biographical Dictionary
--Very brief information over 33,000 person of all periods.  Searchable by birth/death dates, positions held, professions, literary and artistic works, and other keywords. 

Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, ou, Histoire, par ordre alphabétique, de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes qui se sont fait remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talents, leurs vertus ou leurs crimes : ouvrage entièrement neuf, rédigé par une Société de gens de lettres et de savants. Paris : Michaud frères, 1811-1862. 85 v.

Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne : ou, Histoire, par ordre alphabétique, de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes qui sont fait remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talents, leurs vertues ou leurs crimes, ouvrage rédigé par une société de gens de lettres et de savants. Nouv. éd., rev., corr. et considérablement augm. d'articles omis ou nouveaux. Paris: Delagrave, [1870-1873] 45 v.
HathiTrust full text (1843- ed.)
HathiTrust full text
HathiTrust full text [1880 2nd ed.]
Also available in Gallica

Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours : avec les renseignements bibliographiques et l'indication des sources à consulter... sous la direction de Hoefer. Paris : Firmin Didot, 1862-1870. 46 v.
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Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours, avec les renseignements bibliographiques et l'indication des sources à consulter, publiée par mm. Firmin Didot frères sous la direction de m. le dr. Hoefer...Paris, Firmin Didot frères, fils et cie, 1853-66 [v. 1, 1857] 46 v.
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HathiTrust full  text

Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne (widely known as Michaud) and the Nouvelle biographie generale (widely known as Hoefer) are both enormous mid-19th century dictionaries of universal biography, especially good for French persons. They contain much not available elsewhere.  There are differences between Michaud and Hoefer. In spite of some inaccuracies, Michaud is more carefully edited; its articles, signed with initials, are longer and often better than those in Hoefer; its bibliographies (except in one respect, as noted below) are better; and it contains more names in the second half of the alphabet, N-Z.  Hoefer contains more names, especially minor ones, from A-M; has some articles which are better than the corresponding articles in Michaud; and in the source lists gives titles in the original language, whereas Michaud translates into French.  Hoefer was planned to be more concise and more comprehensive than Michaud, to include names of people then living, and to list many minor names omitted from Michaud.

Publication histories of Michaud and Hoefer in Guide to reference books, by Isadore Gilbert Mudge, 6th ed. p. 282. HathiTrust full text

Boynton and Malin. Encyclopedia of Women’s Autobiography 

Cambridge biographical encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ARBA 99 LOCATION: Widener: RR 1701.28
--Includes about 16,000 persons, living and deceased. Mostly short paragraphs with about 40 more detailed "panel" entries. Good coverage of popular culture. Coverage is worldwide with European/US and 20th century emphasis. Ready Reference section at end gives lists of world leaders, religious leaders and saints, US Supreme Court justices, Nobel Prize winners, prominent names in competitive sports and games, etc. Pronunciation help for difficult names. Other pronounciation dictionaries are listed in Section AC. 1st. ed., 1994.  Indexed in Biography and genealogy master index.  The Crystal Reference Biographical Database, the basis of the Cambridge biographical encyclopedia, is the source of the database Where a fuller biography is available, it replaces the Crystal Reference article.

The Houghton Mifflin dictionary of biography 284831 (7th ed. 2003; published in England as Chambers biographical dictionary) is another dictionary covering both living and deceased persons and with similar emphases. Available online through Xrefer ( as Chambers biographical dictionary.  Earlier Chambers eds: 1897-1997.  7th and 6th eds. indexed in Biography and genealogy master index.

The Palgrave Macmillan dictionary of women's biography / compiler and editor, Jennifer S. Uglow. 4th ed.  NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
WID-LC CT3202 .P26 2005 
--Includes over 2100 women, living and deceased, from Antiquity to the present.  Often includes interesting bits of information omitted in other sources. Many subjects chosen for idiosyncratic interest.  Introductory nine-page survey of other biographical sources.  A few entries are dropped with each new edition. Subject index by occupation or reason for prominence.

Earlier eds. published as: 

The Northeastern dictionary of women's biography. 3rd ed. 1999. Available online through Xrefer as Macmillan Dictionary of Women's Biography.

The Continuum Dictionary of Women's Biography 2nd. Ed  1989. Indexed in Biography and genealogy master index 160047

The International dictionary of women's biography 1st ed. 1982.

Other one volume dictionaries of women’s biography include Chambers biographical dictionary of women which covers 3000 women, living and deceased, and Penguin biographical dictionary of women which includes over 1600 subjects with strong Anglo-American and twentieth century emphasis. 

Chambers biographical dictionary of women, ed. by M. Perry. Edinburgh: Chambers, 1996, 741 p.
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC CT3202.C48 1996x 

The Penguin biographical dictionary of women. Penguin ; NY: Penguin Putnam, 1998, 737 p. 
Widener | Harvard Depository | CT3202 .P36 1998 

Dictionary of women worldwide : 25,000 women through the ages / Anne Commire; Deborah Klezmer 2007 3 v. Farmington Hills, MI : Thomson Gale, 
--Includes about 25,000 brief (30-500 words) entries on living and deceased women. Worldwide coverage from ancient Egypt to present but with Anglo-American and 20th century emphasis. Mant entries have sources listed. Abundant cross-referencing of variant names and titles. Occupation, ethnicity/nationality and chronological indexes. Introductory genealogical charts of ruling families. Partially based on the same editors' Women in world history: a biographical encyclopedia which includes about 10,000 longer biographies.