Northern Ireland 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 over 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2014.
Of these 60,000 people, more than 2000 have close ties to Northern Ireland—through families, education, work or residence.
Here you’ll find some famous (and some less familiar) individuals, including the footballer George Best (above), the car maker John DeLorean, and Arnold Thornely, architect of the Parliament Buildings at Stormont (below).
Then discover ‘who’s who’ in Northern Ireland by searching the Oxford DNB for people by place.
- Who's who in Northern Irish history?
- Local & family history in the Oxford DNB
- Who else would you like to meet?
As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:
- which notable people were born in Belfast?
- which historical figures have links to Lisburn?
- who has ties to co. Fermanagh?
- which Belfast doctor engineer invented the heart defibrillator?
- how many times is Lough Neagh mentioned in the Oxford DNB?
- who were Harland and Wolff?
- how many references in the Oxford DNB to the Giant's Causeway?
(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 Nothern Irish lives simply use the ‘place’ option on the People Search page. You can find people who were born, baptized, educated or resident in Northern Ireland (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. Antrim). For this use Text Search.
- 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 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.