Welcome to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

  • Over 60,000 biographies, 72 million words, 11,000 portraits of significant, influential or notorious figures who shaped British history – perform advanced search
  • Life of the day now available by email or RSS feed.
  • Have questions about how to use the redesigned website? Check out our Help page for a video demo and detailed instructions or read through our FAQs.

Learn more

Letter from Sir David Cannadine

Pride Month

Pride Month - various portraits

The Oxford DNB includes the most significant, influential or notorious figures who shaped British history. Throughout the month of June we honour the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens during Pride Month.

 

Anne Lister (1791–1840)

Anne Lister

The diarist and traveller is best-known today for her encoded diaries, which, when deciphered, revealed Lister's secret lesbian lifestyle, as depicted in the docudrama Gentleman Jack.

 

 

News

MAY 24, 2019

Queen Victoria's 200th birthday

In celebration of Victoria’s 200th birthday, discover six facts you may not have known about one of the longest-reigning British monarchs.

MAY 9, 2019

What's new: May 2019

The latest update adds 29 new articles focusing on the lives of early modern women.

MAY 3, 2019

Eight facts about past poet laureates

Discover the rich history of Britain's poet laureates ahead of the announcement of the next laureate this May.