Parts 1 through 8 of the ‘Belgian Colonial Biography’ / ‘Belgian Overseas Biography’ (published between 1948 and 1998) together contain some 5,500 entries on Belgians who played an important role overseas, or of non-Belgians who were involved in overseas activities by Belgians. The last part, volume 9, will appear in 2011 and will contain approximately 120 biographical notes.
The Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences decided not to continue that publication but to replace it by a new research tool, the ‘Biographical Dictionary of Overseas Belgians’. This reference work will be more interactive; the entries will be made available online once approved by the Belgian Overseas Biography Commission, without incurring the long delays due to the paper publication. The Academy considered that the contents of many entries no longer were in accordance with the current state of scientific research and that the work thus needed renewal. Many persons who had already been covered in the old reference work will therefore be given a new entry in the new biographical dictionary.
The contents of the old biographical series can be consulted in two different ways: you can browse through each volume individually (and can look up any word in the full text of any volume); or you can immediately find a particular individual using the search engine or the alphabetical list. The alphabetical list also provides a complete overview of all entries.