Biographical Dictionary of Belgians Overseas

In 2009 the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences ended with the publication of the earlier series 'Belgische Koloniale Biografie / Biographie coloniale belge'  (Belgian Colonial Biography) - 'Belgische Overzeese Biografie/Biographie belge d’Outre-Mer' (Belgian Overseas Biography). The Academy decided to start a new reference work the ‘Biographical Dictionary of Belgians Overseas’ (Biografisch Woordenboek van de Belgen Overzee / Dictionnaire biographique des Belges d’Outre-Mer).

This reference work is in full development and up to now can be consulted only electronically. Via the search engine and the alphabetical list located on the margins of this page, you can look up individual subjects. There are plans to publish a selection of the most significant entries in book form.

The Biographical Dictionary of Belgians Overseas offers concise, scientifically-based biographies (with accompanying references) of Belgians who played an important role overseas in any sphere of activity. Residents of regions that before 1830 corresponded to what would later become Belgium are also included. Chronologically, the dictionary goes back to the Middle Ages. Non-Belgians, however, fall outside the scope of the work, even if they played a significant role in the overseas activities of Belgium (or its previous states). Congolese, Rwandans or Burundians are included insofar as they are subjects of the former Belgian colonial empire.

The list of persons who will receive entries may be found here. The list is dynamic in form: it will be updated and supplemented regularly. You may suggest individuals whom you think should be added to the list. And you may also offer to serve as an author for an entry that has already been planned or that should be added. Finally, you may propose additions or corrections regarding entries that have already been published. All such requests can be submitted to the Biography Commission of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences via a special form. The guidelines for both form and contents of an entry are available here. The Commission will reply as soon as possible to your questions or suggestions. Any change to published notes will be made only after approval by the Commission and with the consent of the original author.