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Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie

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Title page of first volume in 1875
The volumes of the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie

Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB; German: Universal German Biography) is one of the most important and comprehensive biographical reference works in the German language.[1]

It was published by the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences between 1875 and 1912 in 56 volumes, printed in Leipzig by Duncker & Humblot. The ADB contains biographies of about 26,500 people who died before 1900 and lived in the German language Sprachraum of their time, including people from the Netherlands before 1648.[1]

Its successor, the Neue Deutsche Biographie, was started in 1953 and is planned to be finished in 2023. The index and full-text articles of ADB and NDB are freely available online via the website German Biography (Deutsche Biographie).




  • Reinert, Matthias; Schrott, Maximilian; Ebneth, Bernhard; Team deutsche-biographie.de (April 9, 2015), From Biographies to Data Curation — the Making of deutsche-biographie.de (PDF)
  • Ebneth, Bernhard (26 August 2014), Neue Deutsche Biographie, Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften