Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Resource Type: 

56,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2009.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, in association with the British Academy is the first point of reference for anyone interested in the lives of the peoples of the British Isles and their connections overseas, from the earliest times to the end of the year 2009. It is the product of research instituted at the University of Oxford and funded by the British Academy—Britain's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences—and by Oxford University Press. It is the achievement of 10,000 contributors and advisers, a worldwide community co-ordinated by project staff in Oxford.

The Oxford DNB aims to provide full, accurate, concise, and readable articles on noteworthy people in all walks of life, which present current scholarship in a form accessible to all. No living person is included: the Dictionary's articles are confined to people who died before 31 December 2009. It covers people who were born and lived in the British Isles, people from the British Isles who achieved recognition in other countries, people who lived in territories formerly connected to the British Isles at a time when they were in contact with British rule, and people born elsewhere who settled in the British Isles for significant periods or whose visits enabled them to leave a mark on British life.


Access is limited to 1 simultaneous user.

Up to 2009 (date of death).
Update Frequency: 
3 times a year
Stable URL: 

A stable url (or persistent link) is a link that connects a user to a particular item in a database or on the web. At the bottom of each entry you'll find persistent links.

In the DNB, the url of the entry is provided, including the date it was accessed, for entry into a bibliography. The information before the comma and date is a persistent link.

Example: [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16119, accessed 4 March 2008]
The persistent link is: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16119

To ensure off-campus access, include the proxy prefix:


The DNB also uses the doi system to create a stable link.

To link to a particular article, look for the line that says:

To ensure off-campus access, include the proxy prefix and the doi website:

Example: http://web2.trentu.ca:2048/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16119

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