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I sometimes consult the site Советская Россия - Свод персоналий at http://www.proza.ru/avtor/igorjan. But I cannot find персоналия in any dictionary. What is its exact meaning? Is it an equivalent of 'persons' or 'personnel', or more like 'personalities' in English?

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The word персоналия means collection of information about a person:

ПЕРСОНА́ЛИЯ -и; ж. [от лат. personalis - личный]. Материалы (литература, фотографии, документы и т.п.), посвящённые жизни какого-л. известного человека. [Большой толковый словарь русского языка]

Персона́лия. Ж. Раздел в энциклопедии, статья в юбилейном сборнике и т.п., содержащие библиографические данные о ком-либо (обычно ученом, писателе, политическом деятеле и т.п.). [Толковый словарь Ефремовой]

It is borrowed from Latin, where personalia is neuter plural of persōnālis - personal.

It is funny that in Russian the word персоналия is singular and can form a plural itself - персоналии, which means "collection of personalia".

The word персоналия is not a synonym for a персона or персонал. In fact the word personalia is also present in English, where it means "personal belongings" or "biographical data, personal reminiscences, or the like".

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    Russian National Corpus shows only plural usage of the word. And many journalists use it as a synonym for "person" which is incorrect.
    – Artemix
    Nov 12, 2013 at 8:47
  • Here is an article about modern usage of word персоналия: Фигурант и персоналия в языке и речи here the персоналия is also treated as "личное дело".
    – Artemix
    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:19
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    For an exact meaning of any russian word, I recommend slovari.yandex.ru
    – user31264
    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:51
  • @user31264 +1 to your comment. In fact even Wikipedia has an article on персоналия with a compilation of meanings from different dictionaries.
    – Artemix
    Nov 13, 2013 at 7:48
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It is person/personality bio/info (Wikipedia) but often it is incorrectly used for person (Wikireality).

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The word of персоналия isn't used in single form, only in plural as персоналии. The single form is персона. Yes, it is a person in context of its biography descrption.

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  • No, персона is not a single form for персоналии. It is different word.
    – Artemix
    Nov 12, 2013 at 8:57
  • No, the same, there no word of персоналия. Even it is contained in dictionary... Nov 19, 2013 at 11:45

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