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 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2016.
Of these 60,000 people, nearly 2,000 have close ties to Newcastle upon Tyne. More than 2,600 men and women have links to co. Durham and a further 1200 to Northumberland.
Below you’ll find some famous (and less-well-known) faces, including footballer Jackie Milburn (above) and Catherine Cookson, Brian Redhead and Capability Brown (below). Click on an image to read more.
As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:
- which famous people were born in Newcastle upon Tyne?
- who was buried in Gateshead?
- who has ties to Lindisfarne?
- who was the 'Evangelist bureaucrat' who redesigned Newcastle city center in the 1960s?
- how many references are there in the ODNB to the River Tyne?
- and to Newcastle United?
(NB: You'll need to be logged into your library's subscription for these searches.)
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”.
We also have more tips on using the ODNB for local and family history.
- Our free, twice-monthly biography podcast—now with over 250 episodes. Download and listen to the stories of Roald Dahl, Eric & Ernie, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Margaret Thatcher, and many more.
- Follow us on Twitter for more historical people in the news.
Plus, life stories of 60,000 men and women, from the Romans to the 21st century. The Oxford DNB is available—free, online, and at home—via nearly all UK public libraries.
Don't forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via Newcastle libraries: just type your library membership number plus your PIN number in the box here.