Glasgow Lives

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 Oxford DNB currently includes the life stories of 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2012.


George Wyllie

Of these 60,000 people, more than 2100 have close ties to Glasgow — through families, education, work or residence.

Below you’ll find some famous (and some less familiar) Glasgow faces, including sculptor George Wyllie (above) and the architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and political activist Helen Biggar (below). Then discover who's who in Glasgow by searching the Oxford DNB for people by place.


Helen Biggar  Jim Baxter  Cordelia Oliver  Alexander Thomson
Charles Rennie Mackintosh  George Bennie  Elizabeth Fish  Thomas McGrath
Ethel MacDonald  Patrick Miller  James McGrory  
Cliff Hanley  Donald Dewar

1. Who's who in Glasgow?

As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:

(NB: You'll need to be logged into your library's subscription for these searches.)

2. Local and family history in the Oxford DNB

Finding people in the Oxford DNB is easy.

  • to discover more Glasgow people simply use the ‘place’ option on the People Search page. You can find people who were born, baptized, educated or resident in Glasgow (or elsewhere), or who died and were buried here. Search by county, city, town, village, church, and even street.
  • you can also search the ODNB’s 70 million words for places (e.g. Kelvingrove). For this use Text Search.

3. Who else would you like to meet?

  • the Oxford DNB online is freely available via public libraries across the UK. Libraries offer ‘remote access’ allowing members to log-on to the complete dictionary, for free, from home (or any other computer) twenty-four hours a day.
  • as well as over 60, 000 life stories, the ODNB offers a free, twice monthly biography podcast, with over 250 life stories now available.
  • you can also sign up for a Life of the Day: a topical biography delivered to your inbox.
  • or follow us on Twitter @ODNB for people in the news.

> Read the Oxford DNB, free and at home, using your library's subscription

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