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World Biographical Information System Online (WBIS)

  • the world's largest digital collection of biographical sources
  • an indispensible tool for interdisciplinary research in historical contexts
  • easy access for every library visitor / unlimited digital rights management
  • 29 different archives: regions, cultures and religious groups

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8.4 million original biographical articles based on digitized microfiches from the biographical archives of the K. G. Saur publishing house. 250,000 biographies from 300 new sources will be added from fall 2017 until 2021.


Original sources on 6 million historical personalities. Men and women, families and groups from all sectors of society and of all professions, from the sciences, politics, culture and economics.


From all countries and regions of the world. Addition of entries for North America, Spain, Portugal, South America, France, Italy, UK, the Benelux countries and Germany in the 2017 update.


Biographical information from the 4th millennium BC to the present. Published in reference works from the 16th century until today.


Whether you are a historian, sociologist, cultural and literary scholar or theologian: WBIS is the perfect tool for researchers who work on biographical topics.

No single library or search engine provides biographical information on so many historical personalities. The World Biographical Information System Online provides a detailed and authentic picture of people’s achievements, feats, curiosities and peculiarities.

From 2017 on direct scanning will improve the quality of the sources. Three tried and tested search options (Basic, Biographical and Bibliographical Search) allow for a simple and precise research in the Online Reference.

Archives included in WBIS:

African Biographical Archive
American Biographical Archive, incl. Canadian Biographical Archive
Arab-Islamic Biographical Archive
Australasian Biogr. Archive
Baltic Biographical Archive
Biographical Archive of the Soviet Union
Biographical Archive of Christianity
Biographical Archive of the Ancient World
Biographical Archive of the Benelux Countries
Biographical Archive of the Middle Ages
British Biographical Archive
Chinese Biographical Archive
Czech and Slovak Biographical Archives
French Biographical Archives
German Biographical Archive
Greek Biographical Archive
Hungarian Biographical Archive
Indian Biographical Archive. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Italian Biographical Archive
Japanese Biographical Archive
Jewish Biographical Archive
Korean Biographical Archive
Polish Biographical Archive
Russian Biographical Archive
Scandinavian Biographical Archive
South-East Asian Biographical Archive
South-East European Biographical Archive
Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Archive
Turkish Biographical Archive