Wilhelm Dittenberger was the son of Protestant theologian Wilhelm Theophor Dittenberger. After attending school in Heidelberg and Weimar (temporarily under the director Hermann Sauppe ) he studied from 1859 Classical Philology at Jena and moved in 1861 to Göttingen, where he reunited with Hermann Sauppe and received his doctorate in early 1863 with a thesis on the Attic ephebes. Since the fall of the year he taught at Göttingen gymnasium and at the same time habilitated in 1864 at the University of Göttingen Sallust. Nevertheless Dittenberger initially remained in the teaching profession and in 1865 a teacher at Joachimsthal Gymnasium in Berlin, from 1867 at the Gymnasium in Rudolstadt, from 1873 to 1874 at the Gymnasium in Quedlinburg. In 1874 he became a full professor of Classics at the University of Halle. He was a corresponding member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences (since 1882) and a regular member of the German Archaeological Institute.
Ditte Berger's research focus was the Greek epigraphy. His name is especially connected to the select collections Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum (later edited by Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen ) and Orientis Graeci inscriptiones selectae. For the Inscriptiones Graecae Dittenberger gave the inscriptions of Attica out in Roman times, the Megaris and Boeotia and Phocis of, Locris, Aetolia, Acarnania and the Ionian Islands. He also edited the inscriptions of Olympia ( together with Karl Purgold ) and the 6th to the 11th edition of the widespread commentary on Caesar's De bello Gallico, the Friedrich Kraner had founded.
His son Heinrich Dittenberger (1875-1952) was a lawyer in Halle, Leipzig and Berlin, and from 1910 to 1933 First Director of the German Bar Association.
Wilhelm Berger Ditte library was purchased after his death in 1907 from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, as well as later ( 1913) the library of John Vahlen. Together, both libraries as Dittenberger - Vahlen Collection of Classical Texts a stock of over 15,000 books and over 17,000 reprints. With the financial support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University began in 2000 with the digitization of this stock.
- Inscriptiones Graecae Vol 3: Inscriptiones Atticae Aetatis Romanae. 2 parts. Reimer, Berlin 1878-1882. Reprint 1977-1978, ISBN 3-11-004911-2, ISBN 3-11-007004-9
- Vol 7: Inscriptiones Megaridis et Boeotiae. Reimer, Berlin, 1892. Reprint 1978, ISBN 3-11-007005-7.
- Vol 9, 1: Inscriptiones Phocidis, Locridis, Aetoliae, Acarnaniae, insularum maris Ionii. Reimer, Berlin 1897, reprint 1978, ISBN 3-11-007006-5.