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 2014.
Of these 60, 000 people, nearly 1000 have close ties to Leicestershire —through families, education, work or residence.
Below you’ll find some famous (and less-well-known) Leicestershire faces, including farmer Robert Bakewell (above) and travel agent Thomas Cook. Click on an image to read more. Then discover the ‘who and how’ in Leicestershire by searching the ODNB for people by place.
As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:
- which famous people were born in Loughborough?
- which historical figures lived in Ashby-de-la-Zouch?
- who went to school or college in Leicester?
- how many times is Belvoir Castle mentioned in the Oxford DNB?
- how many people in the ODNB died and were buried in Leicester?
- which famous people have links to Lutterworth?
- who’s connected with Twycross Zoo?
(NB: You'll need to be logged into your library's subscription for these searches.)
Finding people in the Oxford DNB is easy.
- to discover more Leicestershire people simply use the ‘place’ option on the People Search page. You can find people who were born, baptized, educated or resident in Leicestershire, 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. Belvoir Castle) For this use Text Search.
- 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. Recent highlights include Diana, princess of Wales, George Orwell, John Lennon, and Bobby Moore.
- Follow us on Twitter for more historical figures in the news.
- Don’t forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via Leicestershire libraries: just type LCC + your library membership number in the box here.