Whos Who and Who Was Who

Biographical reference works covering important people across the world

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Who’s Who and Who Was Who are biographical reference works covering important people across the world.  Who’s Who was first published in 1849, it contains approximately 33,000 short biographies of living people, and is updated annually.  Who Was Who was first published in 1920, it contains over 100,000 short biographies of (now deceased) people previously included in Who’s Who, and is updated every 5 years.  Advanced search and browse options allow research by name, date of birth or death, gender, location, occupation, education, decorations, clubs and recreation.  Cross-references from Bibliography of British and Irish History and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Subject Coverage

  • Biography
  • History
  • Politics



How often updated



1803 to the present.



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