Biographical Dictionary

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dictionary, Biographical


a work containing information about the lives and work of various persons, usually listed alphabetically; some dictionaries classify persons by time period or descriptive category.

Biographical dictionaries are highly diverse. They may be universal or specialized according to field or topic. Specialized biographical dictionaries provide information on people in a single profession, branch of knowledge, country, or political party or on participants in a major historical event.

Biographical dictionaries may cover persons in the entire world or in a single region, country, city, or institution. They may cover living or dead notables or both. They may be retrospective or current. Current biographical dictionaries are published at regular intervals and provide information about contemporaries, for example, biographical works of the “Who’s Who” type.

Other sources of biographical information are nekropoli (reference works giving information about people buried in various cemeteries), collections of necrologies, genealogies, dictionaries of pseudonyms, and bibliographies.

Biographical dictionaries originated in remote antiquity. Information of a biographical nature is found in the works of many ancient authors; for example, Isocrates wrote a biography of the king of Cyprus. Varro’s nonextant Images was a collection of biographies of 700 Romans and Greeks with their portraits. The best-known example of ancient biographical literature is Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, based partly on an earlier book, Hyginus’ On the Lives and Works of Famous Men.

Section four (lieh-chuan) of Ssu-ma Ch’ien’s Shih chi (Historical Records) and of other Chinese histories of dynasties consists of biographies of ancient and medieval Chinese figures. A biographical dictionary of Arab writers and scholars of the seventh through 12th centuries was compiled by Yaqut ibn Abdullah al-Hamawi in the early 13th century.

The lives of saints constituted a unique collection of biographies of clerical and lay persons canonized by the Christian church. An early biographical and bibliographical work, Concerning Distinguished Men by St. Jerome of Stridon (fourth century), dealt mainly with Christian writers and church figures. The publication of The Universal Library (1545–55) and of other bibliographic works by the Swiss scholar K. von Gesner marked an important stage in the development of the biographical dictionary.

Biographical dictionaries were first published extensively in the 19th century. The most important 19th-century universal biographical dictionary was the French Biographie universelle, known as the Biographie Michaud (vols. 1—45, Paris-Leipzig, 1843–65). Its first compilers were the brothers J.-F. Michaud and L.-G. Michaud. The French printer A. Firmin-Didot published the multivolume Nouvelle Biographie générale (vols. 1–46, Paris, 1853–66).

During the 20th century a number of standard-size universal biographical dictionaries have been compiled. They include the popular American one-volume Webster’s Biographical Dictionary (Springfield, Mass., 1943), which has gone through many editions. It includes more than 40,000 notables, living and dead. Other such biographical dictionaries are the British Chamber’s Biographical Dictionary (Edinburgh-London, 1961), The New Century Cyclopedia of Names (vols. 1–3, New York, 1954), and Current Biography (The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, 1940—). The last, published monthly and providing information about living world figures, contains extensive reference material and includes portraits.

Most countries now publish national biographical dictionaries, which often provide information about dead and living persons from the given country and from countries with which the given country has been historically linked. An example is the British Dictionary of National Biography (vols. 1–63, London, 1885–1900), which provides detailed information about approximately 29,000 persons who lived before 1901. Supplements published every ten years since that time have included persons who died during the preceding decade. In 1903 an abbreviated edition of this dictionary and its first supplement was published in London under the title Index and Epitome. The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (parts 1–2, London, 1955–61) contains shortened forms of all the biographies published in the Dictionary of National Biography up to 1950.

The Austrian biographical dictionary by C. Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Österreich (vols. 1–60, Vienna, 1856–91), includes more than 24,000 notables living between 1750 and 1850 in the areas constituting the former Austrian Empire. A revised and extended edition of this dictionary is the Österreichisches biographisches Lexikon: 1815–1950 (nos. 1–27—, Graz-Cologne, 1954–74—).

Also extensive in coverage is the Allgemeine deutsche Biographie (vols. 1–56, Leipzig, 1875–1912), which includes more than 26,000 persons who died prior to 1900. In 1953 the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Federal Republic of Germany) began publishing the Neue deutsche Biographie (vols. 1–10 [A-K], Berlin, 1953–74—), with information about persons who died prior to 1950.

Several biographical reference works have been published in Bulgaria dealing with the heroes of the liberation movement, including Vidni deitsi, zaginali v antifashistskata borba i v partizanskoto narodno-osvoboditel’no dvizhenie (books 1–2, Sofia, 1954–57). Bulgarian writers of the eighth through 20th centuries are covered in the book by G. Konstantinov, Tsv. Minkov, and S. Velikov Bulgarski pisateli: Biografii, Bibliografiia (Sofia, 1961). Polish figures are listed in the Polski słownik biograficzny (vols. 1–19— [A-M—], Wrocław-Warsaw-Kraków-Gdańsk, 1935–74-).

Yugoslav notables were listed in the Serbian dictionary of M. Miŝelević, Životi i dela velikih ljudi iz svih naroda (vols. 1–3, Belgrade, 1877–79); two supplements were subsequently published, in 1888 and in 1901. Miŝelević’s work was supplemented by Znameniti srbi XIX veka (edited by A. Gavrilović, vols. 1–3, Zagreb, 1901–04), a biographical dictionary of Serbs, and by Slovenski biografski leksikon (Ljubljana, 1925–71), which encompassed notables living in the territory settled by the Slovenes between the ninth and 20th centuries. A Croatian dictionary covering the period between 925 and 1925 formed the second part of E. Laszowski’s collection Znameniti i zaslužni hrvati (Zagreb, 1925). The two-volume Magyar életrajzi Lexikon (vols. 1–2, Budapest, 1967–69) lists Hungarian notables.

General biographical dictionaries published in other European countries include the French Dictionnaire de biographie française (vols. 1–12 [A-E], Paris, 1932–70), the Italian Dizionario biografico degli italiani (vols. 1–16 [A-C], Rome, 1960–73), the Belgian Biographie nationale (vols. 1–38, Brussels, 1866–1973), the Danish Dansk biografisk leksikon (vols. 1–26, Copenhagen, 1933–44), the Norwegian Norsk biografisk leksikon (vols. 1–16 [A-T], Oslo, 1923–69), and the Swedish Svenskt biografiskt lexikon (vols. 1–19 [A-I], Stockholm, 1918–73).

Biographical dictionaries published in the USA include the Dictionary of American Biography (vols. 1–22, New York-London, 1928–40) and The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (vols. 1–48, New York, 1898–1967; current volumes A-J, New York, 1924–64). The latter consists of two series: a basic permanent series providing information on dead notables, and a current series in loose-leaf form; both series continue to be published. There also exists an abbreviated biographical dictionary, Who Was Who in America: Historical Volume, 1607–1896 (Chicago, 1963).

Other biographical dictionaries published in English are the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (vols. 1–10, 1000–1880, Toronto, 1966–72; also published in French as Dictionnaire biographique du Canada), the Australian Dictionary of Biography (vols. 1–4, Melbourne, 1966–72), the Indian Dictionary of National Biography (vol. 1 [A-D], Calcutta, 1972—), and the Pakistani Biographical Encyclopaedia of Pakistan (Lahore, 1955).

Brief reference material on living persons is provided in frequently revised dictionaries of the “Who’s Who” type. They furnish concise biographical data, compiled according to a standardized format, as well as addresses and telephone numbers. There are international, regional, national, universal, and specialized dictionaries of this type. The most famous of the international dictionaries is the International Who’s Who (London, 1935—), published once every two years in Great Britain. In the USA, the A. N. Marquis Company publishes a competitive dictionary, Who’s Who in the World (1st ed., covering the years 1972–73, and 2nd ed., covering the years 1974–75; Chicago, 1971—1973).

Continental and regional biographical dictionaries of the “Who’s Who” type include the following: Who’s Who in Europe: 1964–65—1966–67 (Brussels, 1964–67), listing only major figures in capitalist countries; The Asia Who’s Who (Hong Kong, I960—); Who’s Who in the Arab World: 1974–75 (Beirut, 1974—); and Who’s Who in Latin America (Stanford, Calif., 1935—). Many countries publish national dictionaries of the “Who’s Who” type and use the English words “Who’s Who” in the title (the first national Who’s Who was published in Great Britain in 1849). Such dictionaries often include both indigenous major figures and emigrants and foreigners who influenced the country’s culture. In Great Britain and the USA, biographical dictionaries of dead notables are published under the title Who Was Who; they list people who died during preceding years.

Specialized biographical dictionaries include Poggendorff Biographisch-literarisches Handwörterbuch der exacten Naturwissenschaften (vols. 1–7, Leipzig-Berlin, 1963—), an important international dictionary of outstanding figures in the natural and applied sciences; its publication is continuing in the German Democratic Republic. Valuable material on Arab and Arabic-language writers and scholars of the sixth through 20th centuries is contained in C. Brockelmann’s History of Arabic Literature (vols. 1–2, 1898–1902). Current specialized international biographical dictionaries include the World Who’s Who in Science (Chicago, 1968—), Who’s Who in Science in Europe (vols. 1–4, London, 1972), Who’s Who in International Organizations (10th ed., 1964–65, Brussels, 1964), and Who’s Who in Government: 1972–73 (Chicago, 1972).


Slocum, R. B. Biographical Dictionaries and Related Works. Detroit, 1967.
Hyamson, A. M. A Dictionary of Universal Biography of All Ages and of All Peoples, 2nd ed. London, 1951.
Arnim, M. Internationale Personal-bibliographie 1800–1943, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Stuttgart, 1952–63.


Verevkina, A. N. Obshchie biograficheskie i biobibliograficheskie slovari zarubezhnykh strana. Moscow, 1970.
Prerevolutionary Russia. In Russia, the first biographies were lives of saints and monks, which appeared in Kievan Rus’ during the 11th and 12th centuries. Later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, biographies of leading schismatics were written. The pateriki (collections of tales about Christian monks) and Minei-Chet’i (Monthly Readings) constituted unique biographical dictionaries. Elements of biographical dictionaries were also contained in azbukovniki (manuscript anthologies of articles). The Book of Degrees (second half of the 16th century) was an extensive collection of biographical data on Russian historical figures.
Works that were basically biographical dictionaries appeared in Russia during the 18th century. The Schediasma (1736), published in Latin in Revel by A. B. Sellius, listed 164 Russian authors and authors writing on Russian topics. In 1760, M. V. Lomonosov published A Short Russian Chronicle With a Genealogy, which contained biographies of Russian princes and tsars to Peter I. Information from this book was used to supplement A Historical Dictionary Containing a History of the Patriarchs, Hebrew Kings, Emperors, Kings, and Great Generals (St. Petersburg, 1769, incomplete edition), a Russian translation of the French Pocket Historical Dictionary by Ladvocat. In 1772, N. I. Novikov’s Attempt at a Historical Dictionary of Russian Writers, which included 317 names, was published. Between 1790 and 1798 the 14-volume Historical Dictionary was published. This work was a translation of several French historical dictionaries, supplemented by biographies of a number of Russian tsars, statesmen, writers, scientists, and scholars. A forerunner of biographical dictionaries was P. Iu. L’vov’s The Russian Heroes’ Temple of Glory (St. Petersburg, 1803).
Genealogical reference works, first published in the late 18th century, contained some biographical information. They included The Pedigree Book of Russian and Emigré Princes and Nobles (Velvet Book) (parts 1–2, Moscow, 1787), M. G. Spiridov’s A Genealogical Russian Dictionary (vol. 1, Moscow, 1793), and P. V. Dolgorukov’s A Russian Genealogical Book (parts 1–4, St. Petersburg, 1854–57). Other books of this type were A. B. Lobanov-Rostovskii’s A Russian Genealogical Book (2nd ed., vols. 1–2, St. Petersburg, 1895) and V. L. Modzalevskii’s A Ukrainian Genealogy Book (vols. 1–4, Kiev, 1908–14).
The early 19th century saw the publication of biographical dictionaries listing authors of fictional, scientific, scholarly, and publicist works. Examples were Evgenii Bolkhovitinov’s Historical Dictionary of Past Russian Writers of Religious Rank in the Greco-Russian Church (2nd ed., vols. 1–2, St. Petersburg, 1827) and Dictionary of Russian Secular Writers, Compatriots, and Foreigners Who Have Written About Russia (vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1845). The first detailed national biographical dictionary was D. N. Bantysh-Kamenskii’s Dictionary of Memorable People of the Russian Land (vols. 1–5, Moscow, 1836), with a three-part supplement (St. Petersburg, 1847). The entire work contained 631 biographies, selected somewhat at random.
Many types of specialized biographical dictionaries appeared during the second half of the 19th century. Detailed biographical information was contained in dictionaries of university professors and instructors. These included A Biographical Dictionary of the Professors and Instructors at the Imperial Moscow University for the Century Following Its Founding on Jan. 12, 1755, Through the Day of Its Centennial on Jan. 12, 1855 (parts 1–2, Moscow, 1855) and A Biographical Dictionary of the Professors and Instructors at the Imperial University of Iur’ev, Formerly Dorpat, for the 100 Years of Its Existence (1802–1902) (vols. 1–2, Iur’ev, 1902–03). Other biographical dictionaries of this type were A Biographical Dictionary of the Professors and Instructors at the Imperial University of Kazan (1804–1904) (parts 1–2, Kazan, 1904), A Biographical Dictionary of the Professors and Instructors at the Imperial University of St. Petersburg … During the Third Quarter Century of Its Existence, 1869–94 (vols. 1–2, St. Petersburg, 1896–98), and A Biographical Dictionary of the Professors and Instructors at the Imperial University of St. Vladimir (1834–1884) (compiled by V. S. Ikonnikov, Kiev, 1884).
Other biographical dictionaries listed graduates of educational institutions. Examples were A Biographical Dictionary of the Alumni of Moscow University (Moscow, 1855), L. F. Zmeev’s A Dictionary of Physicians Who Received the Degree of Doctor of Medicine (and Surgery) at the Imperial Moscow University Prior to 1863: Brief Biographies, A List of Works, and a Periodical Register (St. Petersburg, 1885), A Memory Book of Lycée Pupils and Students (St. Petersburg, 1907), and the Album academicum of the Riga Polytechnic Institute (Riga, 1912).
Many learned societies published registers or dictionaries of their members; the biographical information they contained varied in completeness. Such works included Dictionary of the Members of the Society of the Lovers of Russian Literature at Moscow University: 1811–1911 (Moscow, 1911), Members of the Imperial Society of Russian History and Antiquities at Moscow University (Moscow, 1890–1915), and Members of the Imperial Russian Engineering Society (St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1867–1915).
Reference works relating to the Academy of Sciences included Members of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, issued for the years 1864, 1872–74, 1876–80, 1884, 1886–94, and 1896 (St. Petersburg, 1864–96) and A Membership Register of the Imperial Academy of Sciences and Its Subsidiary Institutions, issued for the years 1894/95–1916 (St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1894–1916). The early 20th century witnessed the publication of B. L. Modzalevskii’s Register of Members of the Imperial Academy of Sciences: 1725–1907 (St. Petersburg, 1908) and of Materials for a Biographical Dictionary of Members of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (parts 1–2, Petrograd, 1915–17).
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of biographical dictionaries of scholars and writers was published. They included G. N. Gennadi’s Reference Dictionary of Russian Writers and Scholars Who Died During the 18th and 19th Centuries and a List of Russian Books Published From 1725 Through 1825 (vols. 1–3, Berlin-Moscow, 1876–1908), D. D. Iazykov, A Survey of the Lives and Works of Deceased Russian Writers (issues 1–13, St. Petersburg-Moscow, 1885–1916), and S. A. Vengerov, A Critical Biographical Dictionary of Russian Writers and Scholars (From the Beginnings of Education in Russia to Our Times) (vols. 1–6, St. Petersburg, 1886–1904). Other works of this type were Vengerov’s Sources for a Dictionary of Russian Writers (vols. 1–4, St. Petersburg, 1900–17) and Critical Biographical Dictionary of Russian Writers and Scholars (2nd ed., vols. 1–2 [issues 1–5]): A Preliminary Listing of Russian Writers and Scholars and Initial Information on Them (St. Petersburg, 1915–18).
Between 1896 and 1918,25 volumes of the Russian Biographical Dictionary, the most extensive and complete prerevolutionary biographical dictionary, were published. The preparation of this dictionary included the compilation of the Alphabetical Index of the Names of Russian Notables (parts 1–2, St. Petersburg, 1887–88), in itself a concise biographical dictionary, containing 61,000 names.
Biographical dictionaries of statesmen and public figures of that period included K. A. Skal’kovskii’s Our Statesmen and Public Figures (St. Petersburg, 1890), Almanac of Contemporary Russian Statesmen (vols. 1–2, St. Petersburg, 1897), and M. M. Boiovich’s Members of the State Duma (Portraits and Biographies): First Convocation (Moscow, 1906), Members of the State Duma (Portraits and Biographies): Second Convocation (Moscow, 1907), Members of the State Duma (Portraits and Biographies): Third Convocation (Moscow, 1910), and Members of the State Duma (Portraits and Biographies): Fourth Convocation (Moscow, 1913).
Similar in nature to biographical dictionaries were the nekropoli, which contained the exact birth and death dates of persons buried in certain cemeteries. Among the nekropoli were V. V. Sheremetevskii’s Russian Provincial Nekropol’ (vol. 1, Moscow, 1914), V. I. Saitov and B. L. Modzalevskii’s Moscow Nekropol’ (vols. 1–3, St. Petersburg, 1907–08), and V. I. Saitov’s St. Petersburg Nekropol’ (vols. 1–4, St. Petersburg, 1912–13). Biographical material was also contained in such dictionaries of portraits as Russian Portraits of the 18th and 19th Centuries (vols. 1–5, St. Petersburg, 1905–09), D. A. Rovinskii’s A Detailed Dictionary of Russian Engraved Portraits (vols. 1–4, St. Petersburg, 1886–89), and A. V. Morozov’s A Catalog of My Collection (vols. 1–4, Moscow, 1912–13).
Prerevolutionary Russian biographical dictionaries encompassed various reference publications that contained biographical information. These included registers of state officials in the Russian Empire and individual provinces, court calendars, lists of high military and civilian officials, and registers of officials of ministries and departments, recipients of orders, and military personnel.
Prerevolutionary professional and departmental registers have retained their value as reference sources. They include Russian Medical Register, issued for the years 1809–1916, Register of Ranks of the Engineering Corps, issued for the years 1871–1911, M. Ia. Ostrogorskii’s Juridical Calendar, issued for the years 1878–1917, and P. M. Stroev’s Registers of Hierarchs and Fathers Superior at Monasteries of the Russian Church [From Ancient Times to the Second Half of the 19th Century] (St. Petersburg, 1877). Other works of this type were Register of the Higher Ranks of State, Provincial, and Eparchial Administrations (St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1834–1916), Register of Civil Ranks of the First Four Classes, issued for the years 1842–1916, Register of Generals by Seniority, issued for the years 1838–1916, General Naval Register (parts 1–13, St. Petersburg, 1885–1907), and Register of Persons Serving in Departments of the Ministry of Public Education (St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1868–1916). The second section of this last yearbook was a register of Russia’s scholars and scientists.
USSR. After the October Revolution, various types of biographical dictionaries were published in the USSR. They covered revolutionary leaders, participants in the struggle for Soviet power, and Soviet government and party figures. During the 1920’s, a number of biographical dictionaries were devoted to members of the Communist Party who had perished. These included A Fraternal Grave: A Biographical Dictionary of Members of the Moscow Organization of the RCP(B) Who Have Died or Perished (vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1922–23) and A Memorial to the Fighters of a Proletarian Revolution Who Perished Between 1917 and 1921 (3rd ed., Moscow-Leningrad, 1925).
Included within the Granat Encyclopedic Dictionary, which continued to be issued during the Soviet period, was the biographic dictionary Leaders of the USSR and the October Revolution (7th ed., vol. 41, parts 1–3, Moscow, 1927–29). It contained 250 autobiographies and biographies. The Granat Encyclopedic Dictionary also included Autobiographies of Revolutionary Leaders of the Russian Socialist Movement of the 1870’s and l880’s (7th ed., vol. 40, Moscow, 1927).
During the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, a multivolume bio-bibliographical dictionary was published under the title Figures of the Revolutionary Movement in Russia (Moscow, vols. 1–3, 5, 1927–34). Other biographical dictionaries devoted to revolutionary figures included Participants in the Russian Revolutionary Movement During the Period of the Struggle Against Tsarism (Moscow, 1927) and Political Hard Labor and Exile: Biographical Reference Book of Members of the Society of Former Political Convicts and Exiles (Moscow, 1934).
After the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), additional biographical dictionaries of revolutionary leaders were published. They included Heroes of October: Biographies of Active Participants in the Preparation and Carrying Out of the October Armed Uprising in Petrograd (vols. 1–2, Leningrad, 1967) and Heroes of October: A Book on the Participants in the Great Socialist Revolution in Moscow (compiled by Z. L. Serebrianskii, Moscow, 1967). Other such dictionaries were Revolutionaries of the Kama Region (compiled by N. A. Alikina and I. G. Gorovaia; Perm’, 1966) and Standard-bearers of the Revolution (compiled by R. Maiak; Tallinn, 1964).
Brief biographical information about Soviet party and government leaders and on leaders in production, science, and culture is contained in the reference series Deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, published beginning with the fifth convocation. Also published are biographical dictionaries devoted to persons who have twice, three, or four times been named Hero of the Soviet Union; such dictionaries include Persons of Immortal Exploits (3rd ed., vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1973) and Persons Who Have Twice Been Named Hero of the Soviet Union (Moscow, 1973). Soviet and international figures buried in Red Square in Moscow are listed in A. S. Abramov’s At the Kremlin Wall (Moscow, 1974).
The Soviet period has witnessed the publication of new types of biographical dictionaries that deal with historical personages surrounding important writers and political figures. Such works include V. V. Veresaev’s Pushkin’s Companions (vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1937), M. Klevenskii’s “Herzen the Editor and His Collaborators,” which appeared in the book series Literaturnoe nasledstvo (Literary Heritage, vols. 41–42, book 2, Moscow, 1941), and Alumni of Moscow University Who Were Comrades-in-arms of V. I. Lenin (issue I, Moscow, 1973). Other biographical dictionaries list persons after whom places and streets have been named, for example, Streets of Baku Are Named After Them (Baku, 1962) and B. G. Maslennikov’s Maritime Maps Tell the Story (Moscow, 1973).
Another type of biographical dictionary is the dictionary of pseudonyms. Examples are I. F. Masanov’s A Dictionary of Pseudonyms of Russian Writers, Scholars, and Public Figures (vols. 1–4, Moscow, 1956–60) and O. I. Dei’s A Dictionary of Ukrainian Pseudonyms and Cryptonyms (16th-20th Centuries) (Kiev, 1969).
A number of biographical dictionaries are devoted to outstanding Soviet and prerevolutionary figures in the fields of science and culture. Works of this type published during the 1920’s and 1930’s included V. I. Troitskii’s A Dictionary of Moscow Masters of Gold, Silver, and Diamond Craftsmanship During the 17th Century (fascs. 1–2, Leningrad, 1928–30), M. A. Blokh’s A Biographical Handbook: Outstanding Chemists and Scientists of the 19th and 20th Centuries (vols. 1–2, Leningrad, 1929–31), and S. V. Bezsonov’s Serf Architects (Moscow, 1938). During the 1920’s the reference work Science and Scientific Workers in the USSR (parts 4–6, Moscow-Leningrad, 1928–34) was published; it included the names, occupations, addresses, and places and dates of birth of 32,000 persons.
After the Great Patriotic War, a number of books similar to biographical dictionaries were published on Russian figures in science, technology, and art. They included the following: S. Iu. Lipshits’s Russian Botanists (vols. 1–4, Moscow, 1947–52), Russian Scientists (vols. 1–2, Moscow-Leningrad, 1948), Russian Scientists (vols. 1–4, Moscow, 1961–65), A. D. Alekseev’s Russian Pianists (Moscow-Leningrad, 1948), D. P. Grigor’ev and I. I. Shafranovskii’s Outstanding Russian Mineralogists (Moscow-Leningrad, 1949), O. M. Ol’shanets’kii’s Founders of Russian Obstetrics (Kiev, 1950), S. A. Morozov’s The First Russian Masters of Photography (Moscow, 1952), Foresters of Our Fatherland (Moscow- Leningrad, 1953). Russian Seafarers (Moscow, 1953), and B. E. Raikov’s Russian Evolutionists and Biologists Prior to Darwin (vols. 1–4, Moscow-Leningrad, 1951–59).
A work based on the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (2nd ed.) was Biographical Dictionary of Figures in Natural Science and Technology (vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1958–59), which contained 4,500 articles. Biographical reference works published during the 1960’s and 1970’s included Economic Geography in the USSR (Moscow, 1965), Scientists and Scholars at the Higher Educational Institutions of the Ukrainian SSR (Kiev, 1968), Blind Persons in the Fields of Science and Culture (vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1971–73), The Academy of Sciences of the USSR: Members, 1724–1974 (vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1974), S. G. Korneev’s Soviet Scientists and Scholars Who Are Honorary Members of Foreign Scientific and Scholarly Institutions (Moscow, 1973).
Biographical dictionaries dealing with literature include Ukrainian Writers: A Biobibliographical Dictionary (vols. 1–5, Kiev, 1960–65), Soviet Writers (vols. 1–4, Moscow, 1959–72), I. U. Budovnits’ Dictionary of Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian Literature Prior to the 18th Century (Moscow, 1962), and I. T. Trofimov’s Writers of the Smolensk Region (Moscow, 1973).
Local biographical dictionaries and reference books list prominent persons born in a given city or area. These include Persons From Kursk Who Have Been Outstanding Leaders in Science and Technology (Kursk, 1950), E. Petriaev’s Students of Local Lore and Literary Figures of Transbaikalia (Irkutsk-Chita, 1965), Leningraders Who Have Been Heroes of Socialist Labor (compiled by M. S. Kurtynin; Leningrad, 1967), and Vologdans Who Have Been Generals and Admirals (compiled by P. K. Perepechenko; part 1, Vologda, 1969). Important and varied biographical material is contained in the series Lives of Famous People, published since 1933, and in Scientific Biographical Literature, published by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR since 1961. Many biographical articles have been published in various types of historical and revolutionary calendars.
The USSR’s general and specialized encyclopedias contain many biographical articles on prerevolutionary Russian and Soviet figures.
Yearbooks of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia have been published since 1957. They contain biographical information on Soviet and foreign figures whose lives are marked by events of general interest.


Barsukov, A. P. Obzor istochnikov i literatury russkogo rodosloviia. St. Petersburg, 1887.
Kaufman, I. M. Russkie biograficheskie i biobibliograficheskie slovari. Moscow, 1955.
Shapiro, A. L. Bibliografiia istorii SSSR. Moscow, 1968.
Likhachev, D. S. Chelovek v literature drevnei Rusi [2nd ed.]. Moscow, 1970.
Spravochniki po istorii dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii: Bibliografiia. Moscow, 1971.
40 let ZhZL: Katalog, 1933–1973. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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