The Editor

There have been four editors of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography since 1992: founding editor Colin Matthew, Brian Harrison, Lawrence Goldman (2004-2014), and the current editor, David Cannadine.

1. The General Editor: Professor Sir David Cannadine

David Cannadine

Sir David Cannadine FBA was appointed the ODNB’s General Editor in October 2014, a post he holds in conjunction with the Dodge Professorship of History at Princeton University. He is a specialist in the political, social, and cultural history of modern Britain and its empire, and the study of history over time. David is the author of 14 books (and editor of a further 14 volumes) including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy (1990), Ornamentalism: how the British saw their Empire (2001), Making History Now and Then (2008), and The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond our Differences (2013). He has previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Columbia, and London.

A former chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, London, David was knighted for services to scholarship in 2009. As General Editor of the Oxford DNB he is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of History at Oxford University of Oxford, and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. In 2017 David takes up the Presidency of the British Academy.

Letter from the Editor
Listen to Cannadine’s ODNB podcast on BBC World Services

2. The Dictionary’s editors

The Oxford DNB comprises three full-time, in-house academic editors who oversee sections of the Dictionary’s content. All three are practising historians and members of the Faculty of History at Oxford University.

  • Dr Mark Curthoys

Mark is the Dictionary’s Senior Research Editor with responsibility for biographical coverage of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Dr Alex May

Alex is the Dictionary’s Senior Research Editor with responsibility for the biographical coverage of the ‘recently deceased’ who died in the twenty-first century. Alex also specializes in the history of the British empire and early Commonwealth. 

  • Dr Anders Ingram

Anders is the Dictionary's Research Editor with responsibility for pre-1800 coverage as well as digital development of biographical content and driving external engagement and partnerships.

3. Associate Research Editors

The Dictionary’s in-house editors are supported by four external, associate research editors, each with a close understanding of the Dictionary.

  • Dr Philip Carter

Until 2016, Philip was the Dictionary’s Senior Research and Publication Editor with responsibility for pre-1800 biographical content, research projects, and public engagement. He now advises on early modern coverage and the ODNB’s programme of historical groups and networks. Since late 2016 Philip has been Senior Lecturer in History and Head of IHR Digital at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

  • Dr Matthew Kilburn

Matthew is a former Research Editor at the Oxford DNB. His other projects have included two years as a research officer on The History of Parliament: The House of Lords 1660-1715. His specialist interests are the eighteenth-century Britain, and the history of the British monarchy and aristocracy, in which areas who advises the Dictionary’s editors.

  • Dr Vivienne Larminie

Vivienne is a Senior Research Fellow at the History of Parliament Trust with a specialism in seventeenth-century religious and political history. A former ODNB Research Editor, Vivienne now oversees the extension of the Dictionary’s biographical coverage in the period 1600-1700.

  • Dr Henry Summerson

Henry is a historian of medieval Britain whose recent research work includes the Oxford Holinshed Project and the Magna Carta Project. A former Research Editor for the medieval and Tudor areas of the Oxford DNB, Henry now acts as the Dictionary’s associate research editor for coverage to c.1600.

4. Associate editors

Online updates to the Oxford DNB often provide themed sets of new biographical content. In planning and researching these themed projects, we draw widely on the expertise of external subject specialists. Associate editors who have advised on recent updates to the Oxford DNB online include:

  • Jane C. Brown, Judith Brown, Matthew Brown, Ian Campbell, A.G. Cross, David Fitzpatrick, John Flood, Peter France, Mark Haworth-Booth, Gad Heuman, Ron Johnston, David Killingray, Hugh Macmillan, Ian Michael, Rosemary Mitchell, Valerie Sanders, Christopher Saunders, Georgina Sinclair, Jon Usher, Chris Williams, Chris A. Williams, Gareth Williams.