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On the open shelves


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

Alongside our continually changing selections:

…we also have lots of free features, biographies and Theme articles that remain on our open shelves.



Don't forget: if you like what you see, you can access the complete Oxford DNB free via nearly all UK public libraries and colleges and universities worldwide. Just ask your librarian for details.

Personal subscriptions and institutional free trials are also available from one to twelve months.


What we’ve added since 2004

  • The Oxford DNB is updated three times a year: January updates extend coverage into the 21st century; May and September updates extend coverage across all periods to 2000. Updates in full

Ideas for using the ODNB

Have a look at some of the people included in the ODNB via these feature maps...

...and galleries

Themes: help with quick reference and research

  • as well as individual biographies, the ODNB online includes Themes, an online handbook to the people in British history, providing articles for fact checking, quick reference, and research.
  • Themes come in three forms—reference lists, reference groups, and feature essays—with new themes added in each online update. Here’s a selection from the 400 articles now available.


Reference lists: comprehensive guides to post-holders in British history
(full list for subscribers in the Themes area of the online ODNB)

Reference groups: essays on the clubs and networks which shaped British history
(full list for subscribers in the Themes area of the online ODNB)

Feature essays: personal insights from expert authors
(full list for subscribers in the Themes area of the online ODNB)

in chronological order

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