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Accessing the Oxford DNB

To see all the articles in the Oxford DNB, you, or an institution to which you are affiliated, need a subscription - find out how to subscribe.

You do not need a subscription to read our free content.

  • If you are having problems accessing the site:
  • To find out more about using different ways to log in:
    • readers from readers from an institution with an institutional subscription should consult their librarian or administrator;
    • institutional administrators in the Americas should email oxfordonline@oup.com;
    • institutional administrators outside the Americas should email onlinesubscriptions@oup.com.

Ways to log in

User name and password

Individual subscribers each have their own user name and password. They are case sensitive.

Automatic login (IP authentication)

Institutional subscribers can provide us with the IP addresses of their domains. Anyone going to the Oxford DNB from a computer within that institutional domain will be automatically logged in to the Oxford DNB.

Referring URL

Institutions may also set up a referring URL: members of that institution may remotely access a 'staging post', which is authenticated through its IP address, and thus log in automatically to the Oxford DNB.


Members of participating institutions in the UK and Republic of Ireland with a subscription to the Oxford DNB can use the Athens service on and off campus with their personal Athens username and password. This page will tell you whether your institution uses Athens, and who to contact to find out about it.

Library card

A library may implement remote access through readers logging in with their library cards.


You must have cookies enabled to access the Oxford DNB.

Cookies are small files that we create to store information on your computer.
  • We do not use cookies to track what other sites you have visited.
  • We do not look at or track any personal or confidential information about you.
  • We do make use of cookies to enable authorization control for online subscriptions.
  • We do make use of cookies to collect web site usage statistics.
The cookies used in our sytem:
  • odnb: identifies you to our system (and only to our system) as a valid user
  • JSESSIONID: identifies your session to our computer
  • __utma, __utmb, __utmc, and __utmz: enable the collection of web site usage statistics

Cookie problems

Because the cookies we use identify subscribers to our system, if you are unable to sign in, you may have a cookie problem:

You are not accepting cookies.
  • Make sure that your browser's preference are set to accept cookies
You are using a program on your computer that automatically deletes cookies.
  • Two such programs for the Macintosh are 'Cookie Cutter' and 'WebFree'. You will need to create an exception for the Oxford DNB.
The date is set inaccurately on your computer.
  • This confuses our cookies (they have expiration dates). Check to see that the date is set accurately.
Your browser does not support cookies.
  • You will need to upgrade it.
You are accessing the Oxford DNB via a 'proxy server' that is deleting cookies automatically.
  • You should contact your network administrator to determine whether your institution's proxy server is the source of the trouble.
If you still have problems, please contact our technical support.
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