The second edition of the Encyclopedia of World Biography was published in Detroit by Gale in 1998. It is a 17-volume set with supplements.

Typical Question:

“Who was Ghandhi? Virgil? Thomas Jefferson? I don’t want to have to read a whole book. Any pictures?”


Print. Continued by irregular supplements. It is also part of the Biography Resource Center:


It’s an encyclopedia of people.


  • 7000 persons, both alive and dead
  • Articles contain basic biographical facts, commentary on person’s background and character, and an evaluation of a person’s role in history.
  • A portrait when possible
  • Each article has an annotated bibliography
  • Written in a narrative style.
  • The second edition is especially good for African and Asian biography, women, and ethnic minorities.
  • Each article is 1-2 pages long.
  • Includes pronunciation


Primarily high school through college. Usually found for use within the library.

Dates of Coverage:

Earliest history through 1998.

How to use:

Arranged alphabetically by name. The index volume includes subject and career access.

LCSH: 1. Biography

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