Cover image for Concise dictionary of American biography.
Concise dictionary of American biography.
American Council of Learned Societies.
Fourth edition complete to 1970.
Publication Information:
New York : C. Scribner's Sons, [1990]

Physical Description:
xiii, 1536 pages ; 29 cm
General Note:
"American Council of Learned Societies"--P.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E176 .D564 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



This one-volume abridgment of the Dictionary of American biography contains concise versions of all 18,110 biographies contained in the original work and the eight supplement volumes. It also includes 1,026 biographies of figures who died between 1961 and 1970, as well as a 170-page listing of all subjects by occupation (in some 1,000 fields of endeavor). Edited under the sponsorship of the American Council of Learned Societies. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Building upon the past success of this basic American biographical reference work, Scribner's has compiled the fourth and best edition of their Concise Dictionary . Not just another book printed to utilize a database of information, this single volume of convenient size and legible type contains condensed biographical material on all 18,110 Americans profiled in the original massive set and its supplements. No living individual is included, with coverage extending to persons with death dates prior to 1971. While the preface states that ``the old biographies have not been substantially revised since their initial publication,'' some language has been altered to reflect contemporary usage for ethnic groups and similar considerations. However, a useful occupational index, complete with ``See also'' references, has been added. As with previous editions, entries vary in length from a few explanatory words for the obscure to insightful overviews of the lives and influences of the giants of our past. Other retrospective biographical sources for Americans exist, ranging from the discursive Great Lives from History: Amer ican Series ( LJ 6/1/87) to the staccato style of Who Was Who in America (Marquis, 1942-). But for collections requiring a single-volume ready reference work, comprehensive in scope and based on solid scholarship, this book will tackle all but the most esoteric inquiries. Highly recommended for U.S. libraries and those likely to receive questions about Americans.-- James Moffet, Baldwin P.L., Birmingham, Mich. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.