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Constantin von Wurzbach

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Constantin von Wurzbach

Constantin von Wurzbach
Title page of Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Österreich with Wurzbach's correct first name Constant.

Constantin Wurzbach Ritter von Tannenberg (born 11 April 1818 in Laibach; died 17 August 1893 in Berchtesgaden) was an Austrian biographer.


After studying jurisprudence at Gratz, he served in the army from 1836 to 1844, when he obtained a position in the university library at Lemberg. In 1849 he was appointed librarian in the Ministry of the Interior at Vienna, and subsequently secretary in the Ministry of State.

He was the father of Alfred von Wurzbach, an art critic.


He is best known for:

  • Bibliographisch-statistische Uebersicht der Litteratur des österreichischen Kaiserstaates (Bibliographic-statistical overview of the literature of the Austrian Empire, 1856)
  • Biographisches Lexikon des Kaisertums Oesterreich (Biographical dictionary of the Austrian Empire; 60 vols., 1857–92) A unique publication on a gigantic scale, containing about 25,000 critical biographies of notable personages in every walk of life and from all parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

His other writings include:

  • Die Volkslieder der Polen und Ruthenen (Folk songs of Poland and the Eastern Slavs, 1846)
  • Die Sprichwörter der Polen (Proverbs of Poland, 1852)
  • Die Kirchen der Stadt Krakau (The churches of Krakau, 1853)
  • Joseph Haydn und sein Bruder Michael (Joseph Haydn and his brother Michael, 1861)
  • Glimpf und Schimpf in Spruch und Wort (Tolerance and insult in maxim and word, 1864)
  • Historische Wörter, Sprichwörter und Redensarten (Historical words, proverbs and idioms, 1866)
  • Franz Grillparzer (1871)
  • Ein Madonnenmaler unserer Zeit: E. Steinle (A madonna painter of our times: [[Eduard Von Steinle
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