The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 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.
Hoping to emulate national biographical collections published elsewhere in Europe, such as the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (1875), in 1882 the publisher George Smith (1824–1901), of Smith, Elder & Co., planned a universal dictionary that would include biographical entries on individuals from world history. He approached Leslie Stephen, then editor of the Cornhill Magazine , owned by Smith, to become the editor. Stephen persuaded Smith that the work should focus only on subjects from the United Kingdom and its present and former colonies. An early working title was the Biographia Britannica, the name of an earlier eighteenth-century reference work.
The first volume of the Dictionary of National Biography appeared on 1 January 1885. In May 1891 Leslie Stephen resigned and Sidney Lee, Stephen's assistant editor from the beginning of the project, succeeded him as editor.A dedicated team of sub-editors and researchers worked under Stephen and Lee, combining a variety of talents from veteran journalists to young scholars who cut their academic teeth on dictionary articles at a time when postgraduate historical research in British universities was still in its infancy. While much of the dictionary was written in-house, the DNB also relied on external contributors, who included several respected writers and scholars of the late nineteenth century. By 1900, more than 700 individuals had contributed to the work. Successive volumes appeared quarterly with complete punctuality until midsummer 1900, when the series closed with volume 63. The year of publication, the editor and the range of names in each volume is given below.
Since the scope included only deceased figures, the DNB was soon extended by the issue of three supplementary volumes, covering subjects who had died between 1885 and 1900 or who had been overlooked in the original alphabetical sequence. The supplements brought the whole work up to the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901. Corrections were added.
After issuing a volume of errata in 1904, the dictionary was reissued with minor revisions in 22 volumes in 1908 and 1909; a subtitle said that it covered British history "from the earliest times to the year 1900". In the words of the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition , the dictionary had "proved of inestimable service in elucidating the private annals of the British",providing not only concise lives of the notable deceased, but additionally lists of sources which were invaluable to researchers in a period when few libraries or collections of manuscripts had published catalogues or indices, and the production of indices to periodical literatures was just beginning. Throughout the twentieth century, further volumes were published for those who had died, generally on a decade-by-decade basis, beginning in 1912 with a supplement edited by Lee covering those who died between 1901 and 1911. The dictionary was transferred from its original publishers, Smith, Elder & Co., to Oxford University Press in 1917. Until 1996, Oxford University Press continued to add further supplements featuring articles on subjects who had died during the twentieth century.
The supplements published between 1912 and 1996 added about 6,000 lives of people who died in the twentieth century to the 29,120 in the 63 volumes of the original DNB. In 1993 a volume containing missing biographies was published. This had an additional 1,000 lives, selected from over 100,000 suggestions. This did not seek to replace any articles on existing DNB subjects, even though the original work had been written from a Victorian perspective and had become out of date due to changes in historical assessments and discoveries of new information during the twentieth century.[ citation needed ]
L. G. L. Legg was editor of the DNB in the 1940s.
In 1966, the University of London published a volume of corrections, cumulated from the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research .
There were various versions of the Concise Dictionary of National Biography , which covered everyone in the main work but with much shorter articles; some were only two lines. The last edition, in three volumes, covered everyone who died before 1986.
In the early 1990s Oxford University Press committed itself to overhauling the DNB. Work on what was known until 2001 as the New Dictionary of National Biography, or New DNB, began in 1992 under the editorship of Colin Matthew, professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. Matthew decided that no subjects from the old dictionary would be excluded, however insignificant the subjects appeared to a late twentieth-century eye; that a minority of shorter articles from the original dictionary would remain in the new version in revised form, but most would be rewritten; and that room would be made for about 14,000 new subjects. Suggestions for new subjects were solicited through questionnaires placed in libraries and universities and, as the 1990s advanced, online. The suggestions were assessed by the editor, the 12 external consultant editors, and several hundred associate editors and in-house staff. Digitization of the DNB was performed by the Alliance Photosetting Company in Pondicherry, India.
The new dictionary would cover British history, "broadly defined" (including, for example, subjects from Roman Britain, the United States of America before its independence, and from Britain's former colonies, provided they were functionally part of the Empire and not of "the indigenous culture", as stated in the Introduction), up to 31 December 2000. The research project was conceived as a collaborative one, with in-house staff co-ordinating the work of nearly 10,000 contributors internationally. It would remain selective – there would be no attempt to include all members of parliament, for example – but would seek to include significant, influential or notorious figures from the whole canvas of the life of Britain and its former colonies, overlaying the decisions of the late-nineteenth-century editors with the interests of late-twentieth-century scholarship in the hope that "the two epochs in collaboration might produce something more useful for the future than either epoch on its own", but acknowledging also that a final definitive selection is impossible to achieve.
Matthews's dedication to a digitized ODNB included what Christopher Warren calls Matthews's "data internationalism".In a 1996 essay, Matthew prophesied, "Who can doubt that in the course of the next century, as nationality in Europe gives way to European Union, so national reference works, at least in Europe, will do so also....Just as the computer is collapsing national library catalogues in a single world-wide series, so I am sure that in the course of the next fifty years we will see the gradual aggregation of our various dictionaries of national biography. We will be much blamed by our users if we do not!"
Following Matthew's death in October 1999, he was succeeded as editor by another Oxford historian, Professor Brian Harrison, in January 2000. The new dictionary, now known as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (or ODNB), was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes in print at a price of £7500, and in an online edition for subscribers. Most UK holders of a current library card can access it online free of charge. In subsequent years, the print edition has been able to be obtained new for a much lower price.At publication, the 2004 edition had 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives, including entries on all subjects included in the old DNB. (The old DNB entries on these subjects may be accessed separately through a link to the "DNB Archive" – many of the longer entries are still highly regarded.) A small permanent staff remain in Oxford to update and extend the coverage of the online edition. Harrison was succeeded as editor by another Oxford historian, Dr Lawrence Goldman, in October 2004. The first online update was published on 4 January 2005, including subjects who had died in 2001. A further update, including subjects from all periods, followed on 23 May 2005, and another on 6 October 2005. New subjects who died in 2002 were added to the online dictionary on 5 January 2006, with continuing releases in May and October in subsequent years following the precedent of 2005. The ODNB also includes some new biographies on people who died before the DNB was published and are not included in the original DNB, because they have become notable since the DNB was published through the work of more recent historians, for example William Eyre (fl. 1634–1675).
The online version has an advanced search facility, allowing a search for people by area of interest, religion and "Places, Dates, Life Events". This accesses an electronic index that cannot be directly viewed.
Response to the new dictionary has been for the most part positive, but in the months following publication there was occasional criticism of the dictionary in some British newspapers and periodicals for reported factual inaccuracies.However, the number of articles publicly queried in this way was small – only 23 of the 50,113 articles published in September 2004, leading to fewer than 100 substantiated factual amendments. These and other queries received since publication are being considered as part of an ongoing programme of assessing proposed corrections or additions to existing subject articles, which can, when approved, be incorporated into the online edition of the dictionary. In 2005, The American Library Association awarded the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography its prestigious Dartmouth Medal. A general review of the dictionary was published in 2007.
Sir David Cannadine took over the editorship from October 2014.
|1||Abbadie – Anne||1885||Stephen|
|2||Annesley – Baird|
|3||Baker – Beadon|
|4||Beal – Biber|
|5||Bicheno – Bottisham||1886|
|6||Bottomley – Browell|
|7||Brown – Burthogge|
|8||Burton – Cantwell|
|9||Canute – Chaloner||1887|
|10||Chamber – Clarkson|
|11||Clater – Condell|
|12||Conder – Craigie|
|13||Craik – Damer||1888|
|14||Damon – D'Eyncourt|
|15||Diamond – Drake|
|16||Drant – Edridge|
|17||Edward – Erskine||1889|
|18||Esdale – Finan|
|19||Finch – Forman|
|20||Forrest – Garner|
|21||Garnett – Gloucester||1890|
|22||Glover – Gravet||Stephen & Lee|
|23||Gray – Haighton|
|24||Hailes – Harriott|
|25||Harris – Henry I||1891|
|26||Henry II – Hindley|
|27||Hindmarsh – Hovenden||Lee|
|28||Howard – Inglethorpe|
|29||Inglish – John||1892|
|30||Johnes – Kenneth|
|31||Kennett – Lambart|
|32||Lambe – Leigh|
|33||Leighton – Lluelyn||1893|
|34||Llywd – MacCartney|
|35||MacCarwell – Maltby|
|36||Malthus – Mason|
|37||Masquerier – Millyng||1894|
|38||Milman – More|
|39||Morehead – Myles|
|40||Myllar – Nicholls|
|41||Nichols – O'Dugan||1895|
|42||O'Duinn – Owen|
|43||Owens – Passelewe|
|44||Paston – Percy|
|45||Pereira – Pockrich||1896|
|46||Pocock – Puckering|
|47||Puckle – Reidfurd|
|48||Reilly – Robins|
|49||Robinson – Russell||1897|
|50||Russen – Scobell|
|51||Scoffin – Sheares|
|52||Shearman – Smirke|
|53||Smith – Stanger||1898|
|54||Stanhope – Stovin|
|55||Stow – Taylor|
|56||Teach – Tollet|
|57||Tom – Tytler||1899|
|58||Ubaldini – Wakefield|
|59||Wakeman – Watkins|
|60||Watson – Whewell|
|61||Whichcord – Williams||1900|
|62||Williamson – Worden|
|63||Wordsworth – Zuylestein|
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.
Arthur Young was an English writer on agriculture, economics and social statistics. Not himself successful as a farmer, he built on connections and activities as a publicist a substantial reputation as an expert on agricultural improvement. After the French Revolution of 1789, his views on its politics carried weight as an informed observer, and he became an important opponent of British reformers. Young is considered a major English writer on agriculture, although he is best known as a social and political observer. Also read widely were his Tour in Ireland (1780) and Travels in France (1792).
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Along with the German-language Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, it is one of the largest reference works on western music. Originally published under the title A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and later as Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it has gone through several editions since the 19th century and is widely used. In recent years it has been made available as an electronic resource called Grove Music Online, which is now an important part of Oxford Music Online.
Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography is a six-volume collection of biographies of notable people involved in the history of the New World. Published between 1887 and 1889, its unsigned articles were widely accepted as authoritative for several decades. Later the encyclopedia became notorious for including dozens of biographies of people who had never existed. In nearly all articles about the Cyclopædia various authors have erroneously spelled the title as 'Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography', placing the apostrophe in the wrong place.
John Farey Sr. was an English geologist and writer best known for Farey sequence, a mathematical construct that is named after him.
The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language: A Complete Encyclopedic Lexicon, Literary, Scientific, and Technological, edited by Rev. John Ogilvie (1797–1867), was an expansion of the 1841 second edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary. It was published by W. G. Blackie and Co. of Scotland, 1847–1850 in two large volumes.
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography is a dictionary of biographical entries for individuals who have contributed to the history of Canada. The DCB, which was initiated in 1959, is a collaboration between the University of Toronto and Laval University. Fifteen volumes have so far been published with more than 8,400 biographies of individuals who died or whose last known activity fell between the years 1000 and 1930. The entire print edition is online, along with some additional biographies to the year 2000.
Joseph Milner (1744–1797), an English evangelical divine, has a reputation particularly for his work on The History of the Church of Christ (1794–1809).
Sir Henry Ellis was an English librarian and antiquarian, for a long period principal librarian at the British Museum.
Richard Ithamar Aaron, was a Welsh philosopher who became an authority on the work of John Locke.
Sir John Alexander Hammerton is described by the Dictionary of National Biography as "the most successful creator of large-scale works of reference that Britain has known".
The Encyclopædia Britannica has been published continuously since 1768, appearing in fifteen official editions. Several editions have been amended with multi-volume "supplements", consisted of previous editions with added supplements or undergone drastic re-organizations (15th). In recent years, digital versions of the Britannica have been developed, both online and on optical media. Since the early 1930s, the Britannica has developed several "spin-off" products to leverage its reputation as a reliable reference work and educational tool.
Henry Manners Chichester (1832–1894) was a British Army officer who after ten years active service overseas returned home and became an author.
The trial of William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, took place in stages in the first half of the 1640s, and resulted in his execution on treason charges. At first an impeachment, the parliamentary legal proceedings became an act of attainder.
Joseph William Moss M.D. (1803–1862) was an English physician. He is known for his Manual of Classical Bibliography (1825).
Charles William Previté-Orton was a British medieval historian and the first Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge on the establishment of the position in 1937.
The Evangelical Magazine was a monthly magazine published in London from 1793 to 1904, and aimed at Calvinist Christians. It was supported by evangelical members of the Church of England, and by nonconformists with similar beliefs. Its editorial line included a strong interest in missionary work.
Andrew Reid was a Scottish writer.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Index and Epitome||1903||The Index, with a summary for each entry.|
|Volume 24||1890||Hailes||Harriott||Incorrectly labeled as Volume 25|
|Volume 25||1891||Harris||Henry I|
|Volume 26||1891||Henry II||Hindley|
|Volume 29||1892||Inglis||John||Truncated at p. 279, at Jeffreys G.|
|Supplementary volumes for the first edition|
|Supplement Volume 1||1901||Abbott||Childers|
|Supplement Volume 2||1901||Chippendale||Hoste|
|Supplement Volume 3||1901||How||Woodward|
|Second series of supplementary volumes for the first edition|
|Second supplement Volume 1||1912||Abbey||Eyre|
|Second supplement Volume 2||1912||Faed||Muybridge|
|Second supplement Volume 3||1912||Neil||Young|