The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of men and women who’ve shaped all walks of British life—from the Romans to the 21st century. Published online and updated monthly, the ODNB includes more than 60, 000 life stories.
The Oxford DNB includes more than 130 men and women with connections to Middlesbrough—from the 19th-century railway promoter, Ralph Jackson, to Sir Edward Pickering (1912-2003), post-war editor of the Daily Express.
You can also search within Middlesbrough, allowing you to find 20 people baptized in or near the city, 15 former pupils of Middlesbrough schools and 25 one-time residents.
Further afield you’ll find more than 200 people linked to Darlington; more than 500 sons and daughters of Durham, and 295 people born in Newcastle, including novelist Catherine Cookson and notorious local politician, T. Dan Smith.
Across the ODNB’s 70 million words, you’ll also find more than 140 references to Middlesbrough, nearly 300 to Captain James Cook, and 15 to the River Tees.
It’s easy to search by place in the Oxford DNB, as the following section explains.
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”.
Listen to a life
Every two weeks the ODNB releases a biography podcast. There are more than 250 episodes to choose from, including John Lennon, Madame Tussaud, Morecambe and Wise, Roald Dahl, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.