World Biographical Index (WBI)

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WBI is an index to the biographical articles collected from many different sources in the KG Saur microfiche collections known as biographical archives and the World Biographical Information System (WBIS) database that provides online fulltext from these archives. The entries in WBI do not link to WBIS fulltext, but they identify the individuals' full names, country, profession, birth and death dates, and references for the print and microfiche publications where the articles may be found. There are biographical details on more than 5.24 million people from the 8th century BC onward. Various search languages (including English) are available. Basic Search enables you to search for names or parts of names, Biographical Search permits multiple-field searching in many different biographical categories, and Bibliographical Search allows you to search bibliographic entries of reference works that were used to compile the biographical archives. Index links for each search field enable you to select available terms. Records can be downloaded or emailed.


WBI provides online help screens.
Opening screen says World Biographical Information System (WBIS) Online but our access is only to the WBI subset.

For help using these indexes see: How do I find an article on my topic?

Dates covered

References are to articles published from 1559 to the late twentieth century.

Updating frequency

Updated as additional archives are added to WBIS.


Citations refer to articles in the more than 5300 reference works that have been combined in over 40 different biographical archive microfiche sets.

Type of coverage

Citations only.

Print counterpart or
related resources

Rutgers owns five of the microfiche biographical archive sets to which WBI citations refer:

  • Archives Biographiques Françaises,
  • Archivo Biográfico de España,
  • Portugal e Iberoamérica,
  • Biografico Italiano, British Biographical Archive, and
  • Deutsches Biographisches Archiv.

In addition, we own many of the printed reference books identified in the citations.

Producer/content provider

K. G. Saur Verlag

Vendor/electronic presentation provider

K. G. Saur Verlag

Core Subject(s)