About Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography consists of over 57,000 biographies of people who have had an important impact on life in Britain throughout history.
The biographies only include the deceased: for those still living or those who are not from Britain try Who's Who, or the biography sections of Credo Reference and KnowUK. You can also search for people from relevant professions in some of our other resources such as Oxford Art Online, Oxford Music Online, Music Online Reference, or Contemporary Authors.
There are several ways of searching these biographies: you can perform a simple search, search within the full-text of the biographies, search for people by geographic area, year, their field of interest, amongst other options in advanced search, to mention just a few. There is also the opportunity to use the browse facility where people are listed alphabetically. Plus you can search within particular themes which contain lists of people who have held important positions; Kings and Queens, prime ministers, and people who have made important impacts in certain areas such as science, war, the law and the arts. As well as lengthy pieces of text on each individual, articles also provide portraits; both on the site and via links to the national portrait gallery, and they provide references for further reading.
If you wish to save an article you can print it out or email it to yourself; look near the top left of the page and use the e-mail, print or cite (so you can refer to it in an essay for example) options available ('Print' links you to a printable view, if you don't use this option your print will not be satisfactory).
You can access this resource in any Westminster Library or from elsewhere using your Westminster library card. Not a member? Join now.
- Go straight to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Go to the 24/7 Library Exclusive Resources page
- Watch a short instructional video
- Go to the Biography page of the Gateway to websites
- Search the catalogue for a book on the person you are interested in
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