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What's new in the Oxford DNB?

Here you'll find details of the dictionary's latest update (May 2015)—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 Taking a tour of the online edition.




Latest online update: May 2015

Our May 2015 online update adds new biographies of 105 people active between the 14th and early 21st century. Full list of new lives.


  • A century of British cinema: actors Harry H. Corbett (1925-1982) and Oliver Reed (1938-1999); producer Carl Foreman (1914-1984), and filmmakers Alan Clarke (1935-1990) and Geoffrey Malins (1886-1940), maker of The Battle of the Somme, screened in 1916.

  • Jewish lives: Judith Montefiore (1784-1862), travel writer and author of the first Jewish cookery book in English; David Kessler (1906-1999), managing director of the Jewish Chronicle; and Boris Bennett (1900-1995), East End wedding photographer whose camera is on display at the Jewish Museum, London.

  • Other lives: Fanny Talbot (1824-1917), giver of the first land to the National Trust, in 1895; Stephen Joseph (1921-1967), producer and developer of ‘theatre in the round’; record producer Dick Rowe (1921-1986) who failed to sign the Beatles; and Samuel Waring (1869-1940), head of the decorative arts retailers, Waring & Gillow.

  • New portraits: the May update adds portraits to 24 existing biographies, including those for Clementine Churchill, Isaac Rosenberg, and Radclyffe Hall.

Editor's Introduction    :    Highlights from the new update    :    May 2015 update




June 2015

  • New update published: our new update adds biographies of 105 people active between the 14th & 21st century, with a special focus on a century of British cinema. Highlights.
  • Full list of the 105 new biographies.
  • Introduction to the new update.
  • Lives of the day: June’s lives are shaped by the anniversaries for Magna Carta and Waterloo, with the biographies of King John (15th) and Robert Fitzwalter (19th) and the duke of Wellington (18th). 13th June is also the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats, while Glastonbury is marked with the story of its co-creator, Arabella Churchill (26th). 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, the wartime diarist Margot Asquith and the historian Roy Porter.
  • Daily lives, regular podcast episodes, and other historical news is also available via Follow odnb on Twitter
  • More routes to free sample content.

May 2015

  • ODNB research bursaries, 2015-16: have an idea for using the ODNB in your research? Our deadline is 31st May. More.
  • Our new update is published on Thursday 28th May with a special focus on a century of British cinema.
  • Lives of the day: May lives include Alice Hargreaves, prototype for the character of Alice, 150 years on (4th); George VI for the 70th anniversary of VE Day (8th); Denis Thatcher, a century after his birth (10th); cricketer Basil D’Oliveira (21st); and Henry Lyte whose hymn, ‘Abide with Me’, will be sung at the FA Cup final (30th). 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, the Bluestocking Circle, and the actor Arthur Lowe.
  • Daily lives, regular podcast episodes, and other historical news is also available via Follow odnb on Twitter
  • More routes to free sample content.

April 2015

  • ODNB research bursaries, 2015-16: this month we launch a new initiative to foster humanities research using the Oxford DNB online. More.
  • How is ODNB working with museums and galleries? An editor explains - have a listen.
  • Lives of the day: April lives include the poets George Herbert (3rd) and Rupert Brooke, on the centenary of his birth (15th); there’s also the novelist Muriel Spark (12th) and the rambler Tom Criddle Stephenson on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Pennine Way (16th); plus James Horlick, maker of milky drinks (30th). 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, Ada Lovelace, computer pioneer, and Rupert Brooke, poet.
  • Daily lives, regular podcast episodes, and other historical news is also available via Follow odnb on Twitter
  • More routes to free sample content.