The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of people who’ve shaped British history, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century. The ODNB currently includes the life stories of over 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2016.
Of these 60,000 people, over 2,000 have close ties to Buckinghamshire.
Below you’ll find some famous (and less-well-known) Buckinghamshire faces, including Ludwig Guttmann (above), founder of the Paralympic Games at Stoke Mandeville, and author Roald Dahl who lived at Great Missenden. Click on an image to read more.
Who and how? in Buckinghamshire
As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:
- which well-known people were born in Buckinghamshire?
- which historical figures lived in Aylesbury?
- how many times is Chequers mentioned in the Oxford DNB?
- how many people in the ODNB were buried in Amersham?
- which famous people have links with Bletchley Park?
- Jane Drew is responsible for which Milton Keynes landmark?
- which architect originally designed Milton Keynes as a 'city of the future'?
(NB: You'll need to be logged into your library's subscription for these searches.)
How do I search?
The Oxford DNB includes the life stories of more than 60,000 men and women. Online you can search for where they were born, baptized, lived, died or were buried, by date range or location.
- The advanced search ‘life event’ feature can be used to find people near you—be they men and women baptised in Edinburgh (189), those born in Whitby (28), or those buried in Exeter (133). Used in this way the ODNB is an excellent resource for school projects or family history.
- Text searching across the Oxford DNB’s 68 million words, you can also make links between people and places: for example, we’ve 102 references to “Clapham Common”, 27 to the “River Trent”, and 51 to “Snowdonia”.
What else does the Oxford DNB offer?
- Free biography podcast: as well as over 60,000 life stories, the ODNB publishes a twice monthly biography podcast featuring some popular entries from the collection. There are now over 250 episodes in the archive. Highlights include Roald Dahl, George Orwell, John Lennon, and Margaret Thatcher.
- Follow us on Twitter for more historical figures in the news.
- Don’t forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via Buckinghamshire libraries: just type your library card number in the box here.