The scientific activities of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences include the publication of scholarly reference works. One of these is the biographical dictionary of Belgians who played an important role overseas. This reference work is directed by the Belgian Overseas Biography Commission of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences.
Between 1948 and 1958, the Belgische Koloniale Biografie / Biographie coloniale belge (Belgian Colonial Biography) was published (in 5 parts). After decolonization, the title was changed to Belgische Overzeese Biografie / Biographie belge d’Outre-Mer (Belgian Overseas Biography) (3 parts in 5 volumes, published between 1968 and 1998). The ninth and final part will appear at a later time. This series has been completely digitized and can be consulted here or purchased here.
In 2009 the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences decided to bring the Overseas Belgian Biography to an end and to launch a new scientific biographical reference work, the ‘Biographical Dictionary of Overseas Belgians’. This research tool, started in 2011, is still under construction and can be searched via the search engine.
Why did the former series come to an end and what are the basic options of the new reference work? An answer to these questions is to be found here.