Scholarly Societies Project

History of Scholarly Societies:
Poggendorff's Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch


Poggendorff's Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch
Poggendorff, J. C. (Johann Christian), 1796-1877.
Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch zur Geschichte der Exakten Wissenschaften
: enthaltend Nachweisungen über Lebensverhältnisse und Leistungen von Mathematikern, Astronomen, Physikern, Chemikern, Mineralogen, Geologen usw. aller Völker und Zeiten, gesammelt von J. C. Poggendorff, Mitglied der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.
Leipzig, 1863 - [In German.]

A multi-volume bio-bibliographical dictionary covering scientists in the exact sciences from all countries and all time periods. For each scientist, there is brief biographical information, as well as a bibliography of the writing of the scientist.

Band 1 &2 (published 1863) are available at

In order to find a representative sample of journal-title abbreviations used in this tool, the Editor began a manual scan of the first volume on 2004, July 16. By February of 2006, the scan of the first 100 pages of the first volume was complete. Both society journals and independent journals were documented, and supplied with the full name, publication years and volumes all drawn from library catalogues. This work was tiresome in the extreme, in no small part because of the cryptic manner in which Poggendorff abbreviated many of the titles. The results of that scan may be accessed from Journal Title Abbreviations: Poggendorff Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch zur Geschichte der exakten Wissenschaften.

Contents of Poggendorff's Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch
Years of Literature Covered
Dates When Volumes were
Bd.1 (A-L) - Bd.2 (M-Z)
up to about 1857 1863
Bd.3, Abt.1 (A-L) - Abt.2 (M-Z)
1858 - 1883 1898
Bd.4, Abt.1 (A-L) - Abt.2 (M-Z)
1883 - 1904? 1904
1904 - 1922 1926
Bd.6, Teil 1 - Teil 4
1923 - 1931 1936
Bd.7a, Teil 1 - Teil 3, Teil 4 (Lfg.1-2)
(covers German-speaking countries)
1932 - 1953 1956 - 1962
(covers the rest of the world)
1932 - 1962 1965 - 1992
1954? - 1995 -