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59,102 people ... 11,217 portraits ... 68 million words ... 2500 years of history


Horatio Nelson Nyree Dawn Porter Constantine I Anne Boleyn Winston Churchill Eileen Agar

What is the Oxford DNB? The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century. The Dictionary offers concise, up-to-date biographies written by named, specialist authors. It is overseen by academic editors at Oxford University, UK, and published by Oxford University Press.


The Oxford DNB was first published in 2004 in print (60 vols.) and online. Since 2005 online updates have extended the Dictionary’s coverage in three annual updates, published every January, May, and September. The Oxford DNB now includes biographies of 59,102 men and women who died in or before the year 2010—plus 511 ‘Theme’ articles for reference and research.



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  • the ODNB online is updated every January, May, and September. January updates extend coverage into the 21st century; May and September updates add biographies across all historical periods. Highlights from the latest update are available, plus details of all updates since 2005.
  • the Oxford DNB is also available in print (now 61 volumes and over 61,000 pages).
  • tour the online edition.
  • monthly Oxford DNB news.

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