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What's new in the Oxford DNB?

Here you'll find details of the dictionary's latest update (September 2014)—plus news of monthly features, our bi-weekly biography podcast, and topical Lives of the Day.


The Oxford DNB online is updated every January, May, and September with new biographies and reference articles. Previous updates


You may also be interested in: Selected reviews and Prizes or in Taking a tour of the online edition.



Latest online update: September 2014

Our September 2014 online update includes biographies of 119 people active from the 'earliest times' to the early-21st century. Full list of new lives.


The September update offers lives illustrative of aspects of national life and character, including:

  • Heritage & conservation: Sir Cecil Chubb (1876-1934), bequeather of Stonehenge to the nation; Edith Pretty (1883-1942), who donated the Sutton Hoo treasures to the British Museum; and Jock Kinneir (1917-1994), designer of motorway and road signage.
  • Women & Westminster: Kay Midwinter (1909-1995), the first woman clerk to the House of Commons; and Rose Rosenberg (1892-1966), political secretary to Ramsay MacDonald, who organized the first US visit by a serving British prime minister.
  • Transnational lives: John Blanke (fl.1507-12), African-born trumpeter in the courts of Henry VII and VIII; the Chinese sculptor Chitqua (c.1728-1796); and the Hungarian writer, George Mikes (1912-1987), best known for his guide to the English, How to be an Alien.
  • Other lives: the Red Lady of Paviland (c.33,000 yrs BP), the oldest subject of ceremonial burial in Western Europe; Arabella Churchill (1949-2007), co-founder of the Glastonbury Festival; and Gordon Foster (1921-2010), inventor of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Editor's Introduction    :    Highlights from the new update    :    September 2014 update




November 2014

  • The 60-volume print edition is now on sale for £500; ODNB authors receive a further 40% discount. More
  • Have a go at ODNB's anniversary competition: 10 questions on 10 people added to the ODNB over the last 10 years.
  • Lives of the day: November’s lives include the monarchs Alexander I (8th), Edward VII (9th), and Cnut (12th), while wartime lives include Vera Brittain (11th) and Frances Farrer (13th) who led the Women’s Institute during the Second World War. Find out who’s currently in the Lives of the week gallery, and sign up for the life of the day.
  • Oxford DNB podcasts: new biographies, and some old favourites, as downloads and podcasts: this month, tales of two historical bodies: a failed resurrection and a prehistoric Red Lady.
  • Daily lives, regular podcast episodes, and other historical news is also available via Follow odnb on Twitter
  • More routes to free sample content.

October 2014

  • New update published: our new update adds biographies of 119 people active from the 'earliest times' to the early-21st century. It marks the ODNB’s 10th anniversary (2004-2014). Highlights
  • How we're marking our 10th anniversary.
  • Full list of the 119 new biographies.
  • Introduction to the new update.
  • Lives of the day: October’s lives include Edith Pretty (15th), who gave the Sutton Hoo treasures to the nation, the designer of British road signage, Jock Kinneir (23rd), Arabella Churchill, co-founder of the Glastonbury festival (30th), and the poets Dylan Thomas (born on 27 Oct 1914) and John Keats (31st). Find out who’s currently in the Lives of the week gallery, and sign up for the life of the day.
  • Oxford DNB podcasts: new biographies, and some old favourites, as downloads and podcasts: this month, an African at the Tudor court, a Welshman in New York.
  • Daily lives, regular podcast episodes, and other historical news is also available via Follow odnb on Twitter
  • More routes to free sample content.