|Subject||Biographies of notable Australians|
|Publisher||Melbourne University Press|
|Media type||Hard copy|
The Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB or AuDB) is a national co-operative enterprise founded and maintained by the Australian National University (ANU) to produce authoritative biographical articles on eminent people in Australia's history. Initially published in a series of twelve hard-copy volumes between 1966 and 2005, the dictionary has been published online since 2006.
The Australian National University (ANU) is a national research university located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Its main campus in Acton encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national academies and institutes.
The ADB project has been operating since 1957. Staff are located at the National Centre of Biography in the History Department of the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Since its inception, 4,000 authors have contributed to the ADB and its published volumes contain 9,800 scholarly articles on 12,000 individuals.210 of these are of Indigenous Australians, which has been explained by Bill Stanner's "cult of forgetfulness" theory around the contributions of Indigenous Australians to Australian society.
The ADB project should not be confused with the much smaller and older Dictionary of Australian Biography by Percival Serle, first published in 1949, nor with the German Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (published 1875–1912) which may also be referred to as ADB in English sources.
The Dictionary of Australian Biography, published in 1949, is a reference work by Percival Serle containing information on notable people associated with Australian history. With approximately a thousand entries, the book took more than twenty years to complete. Published by Angus and Robertson, the dictionary was compiled as two volumes, Volume 1: A-K; and Volume 2: L-Z.
Percival Serle was an Australian biographer and bibliographer.
Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie is one of the most important and most comprehensive biographical reference works in the German language.
To date, the ADB has produced eighteen hard copy volumes of biographical articles on important and representative figures in Australian history, published by Melbourne University Press. In addition to publishing these works, the ADB makes its primary research material available to the academic community and the public.
|Volume(s)||Years published||Subjects covered|
|1 and 2||1966–67||Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1788–1850|
|3 to 6||1969–76||Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1851–1890|
|7 to 12||1979–90||Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1891–1939|
|13 to 16||1993–2002||Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1940–1980|
|17 and 18||2007–2012||Covered those Australians who died between 1981 and 1990|
|Supplement||2005||Dealt with those Australians not covered by the original volumes|
|Index||1991||Index for Volumes 1 to 12|
On 6 July 2006, the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online was launched by Michael Jeffery, Governor-General of Australia, and received a Manning Clark National Cultural Award in December 2006.The website is a joint production of the ADB and the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, University of Melbourne (Austehc).
Major General Philip Michael Jeffery is a retired senior Australian Army officer who was the 24th Governor-General of Australia, serving from 2003 to 2008, and the 30th Governor of Western Australia, serving from 1993 to 2000.
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is shared equally with the 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.
The Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre (Austehc) is housed at the University of Melbourne and is a leading centre for the preservation, promotion and development of the heritage of Australian science, technology and medicine. It has been particularly active in publishing resources online and has been responsible for the development of a wide range of innovative biographical projects, such as the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online and Bright Sparcs, an online biographical register of more than 4,000 people involved in the development of science, technology and medicine in Australia, including references to their archival materials and bibliographic resources.
In 2018, Clinton Fernandes wrote that ADB is conspicuously silent on the slaveholder or slave profiting pasts of a number of influential figures in the development of Australia, including George Fife Angas, Isaac Currie, Archibald Paull Burt, Charles Edward Bright, Alexander Kenneth Mackenzie, Robert Allwood, Lachlan Macquarie, Donald Charles Cameron, John Buhot, John Belisario, Alfred Langhorne, John Samuel August, and Godfrey Downes Carter.However, the Legacies database from which Fernandes obtains this information is ambiguous as to George Fife Angas's connection with slavery. It states that he did not lodge the claims himself but collected the compensatory amount for unknown reasons.
Clinton Fernandes is a professor of international and political studies at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, Australia, part of the Australian Defence Force Academy. His work is primarily concerned with Australia’s national security, in particular intelligence matters and Australia's relations with its Southeast Asian neighbours.
George Fife Angas was an English businessman and banker who, from England, played a significant part in the formation and establishment of the Colony of South Australia. He established the South Australian Company and was its founding chairman of the board of directors. In later life he migrated to the colony and served as a member of the first South Australian Legislative Council.
Charles Edward Bright was an English businessman in colonial Victoria.
The entries were written in the 1960s and await to be updated.
Johann Samuel Ersch was a German bibliographer, generally regarded as the founder of German bibliography.
Otto Jahn, was a German archaeologist, philologist, and writer on art and music.
The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published from 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.
Neue Deutsche Biographie is a biographical reference work. It is the successor to the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. The 26 volumes published thus far cover more than 22,500 individuals and families who lived in the German language area.
Angaston is a town on the eastern side of the Barossa Valley in South Australia, 77 km northeast of Adelaide. Its elevation is 347 m, one of the highest points in the valley, and has an average rainfall of 561 mm. Angaston was originally known as German Pass, but was later renamed after the politician, banker and possible former slaveholder George Fife Angas, who settled in the area in the 1850s. Angaston is in the Barossa Council local government area, the state electoral district of Schubert and the federal Division of Barker.
Christian Gottlieb Jöcher was a German academic, librarian and lexicographer.
Rochus Wilhelm Traugott Heinrich Ferdinand Freiherr von Liliencron was a Germanist and historian, known for his collection of German Volkslieder, published in five volumes in 1865-1869, and as the editor of the biographical reference work Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB), published 1875-1912.
Elias von Steinmeyer was a German philologist.
Godfrey Downes Carter was an Australian businessman, politician and mayor of Melbourne from 1884 to 1885.
Wilhelm Wackernagel was a German-Swiss philologist specializing in Germanic studies. He was the father of Indo-Europeanist Jacob Wackernagel.
The Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors is the oldest surviving women's art group in Australia.
Karl Christian Sigismund Bernhardi was a German librarian and politician.
Franz Muncker was a German literary historian.
Johann Georg Martin Brückner was a German historian and geographer.
Karl Friedrich Adolf Konrad Bartsch was a German medievalist.
Jakob Baechtold, surname sometimes spelled as Bächtold was a Swiss literary scholar.
Georg Cornelius Karl Gerland was a German anthropologist and geophysicist.
Jane Ada Fletcher (1870–1956) was a Tasmanian poet and author, publishing works on ornithology, history, anthropology, and fiction.