This section features only a few of the many sources of biographical information on scientists; general biographical sources are featured in other Reference Department guides.
A major collection of biographies for deceased scientists is:
Gillispie, C. C. (ed.) Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 18 vols. New York: Scribner, c1970-90. Ref. 925 D554; Also BES Ref and Med Center
Inclusive, authoritative and international in coverage, this work covers all time periods and geographical areas and the fields of astronomy, biology, chemistry, the earth sciences, mathematics and physics. Technology, as such, is not included. The work contains bibliographies of original and secondary works for the scientists featured. Volume 15 (supp. 1) contains additional biographies, as well as topical essays. Volume 16 is an analytical index volume.
Some other specialized biographical works which should be useful are:
American Men and Women of Science. 20th ed. New York: R.R. Bowker. Originally published in 1906. Ref. 925 qC368AB; Also in Med Center
This work is frequently updated, and the latest edition is shelved in the Reference stacks. It features contemporary scientists and provides a brief summary of the life and work of each.
Barr, E. S. An Index to Biographical Fragments in Unspecialized Scientific Journals. University, AL: University of Alabama Press, c1973. Ref. z925 B268I
Biographical information on almost 8,000 scientists is referenced, along with about 1,500 portrait locations, for journals published 1798-1920.
Biographical Dictionary of American Science. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979. Ref. q509.22 E46 B616 1979
This retrospective companion to American Men and Women of Science covers the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries.
Biographisch-literarisches Handworterbuch zur Geschichte der exacten Wissenschaften. Leipzig: Zentral-Antiquariat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, 1863-. Med Ctr. Z7404 P75a
Also known as Poggendorf, for its compiler, this set is now well into its eighth series. It lists Alphabetically Western world scientists, and it supplies biographical and bibliographical (primary and secondary) information concerning these scientists. It is in German, with bibliographical entries in the language of original publication. "Standard and indispensable".
Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 1877-. (Perkins has incomplete holdings, 1913-) 506 N277BI
Biographical and bibliographical information on members, compiled at the time of their death. Something of a companion work is:
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society of London. London: Royal Society of London, 1955-. 925 R888OA
Preceded by Obituary notices of the fellows...(1932-1954) and, earlier, notices in the Society's Proceedings and Yearbook.
Index to Scientists of the World from Ancient to Modern Times: Biographies and Portraits. Boston, MA: Faxon, 1962. Ref. 925 I65I
This work indexes more than 300 collections. It features about 7,500 scientists and is supplemented by:
Prominent Scientists: An Index to Collective Biographies. New York: Neal-Schuman, c1980. Ref. 509.2 P388 P965 1985
Biographies for more than 10,000 scientists are located in 159 collections.
Who's Who in Frontier Science and Technology. Chicago, IL: Marquis Who's Who, 1984/85. 509.22 W628 W628x; Also Med Center
Unless otherwise specified on this page, this work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.