The Editor

There have been four editors of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography since 1992: founding editor Colin Matthew (1992-9), Brian Harrison (1999-2004), Lawrence Goldman (2004-14), and the current editor, David Cannadine.

1. The General Editor: Professor Sir David Cannadine

David Cannadine

Sir David Cannadine FBA was appointed the ODNB’s General Editor in October 2014. He is a specialist in the political, social, and cultural history of modern Britain and its empire, and the study of history over time. His recent publications include George V: the Unexpected King (2014), Heroic Chancellor: Winston Churchill and the University of Bristol, 1929-1965 (2015), Margaret Thatcher, a life and legacy (2017), and Victorious Century: The United Kingdom, 1800-1906 (2018), as well as three series of Prime Ministers’ Props for BBC Radio 4 (2016, 2018, and 2023) and edited volumes on Westminster Abbey: A Church in History (2019) and A Question of Retribution? The British Academy and the Matter of Anthony Blunt (2020). He is currently writing the history of the Ford Foundation. He was Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University from 2008 to 2023 (now Emeritus), and previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Columbia, and London..

A former chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, London, and president of the Birmingham & Midland Institute, David was knighted for services to scholarship in 2009. As General Editor of the Oxford DNB he is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of History at Oxford, University of Oxford, and is an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford (and of Clare and Christ’s colleges, Cambridge).. From 2017 to 2021 David served as President of the British Academy.

Letter from the Editor
Listen to Cannadine’s ODNB podcast on BBC World Services

2. The Dictionary’s editors

The Oxford DNB comprises two full-time, in-house academic editors who oversee sections of the Dictionary’s content. Both are practising historians and members of the Faculty of History at Oxford University.

  • Dr Mark Curthoys

Mark is the Dictionary’s Senior Research Editor with responsibility for biographical coverage of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century political, labour, and education history.

  • Dr Alex May

Alex is the Dictionary’s Senior Research Editor with responsibility for the biographical coverage of the ‘recently deceased’ who died in the twenty-first century. Alex also specializes in the history of the British empire and early Commonwealth.  

3. Associate Research Editors

The Dictionary’s in-house editors are supported by four external, associate research editors, each with a close understanding of the Dictionary.

  • Dr Philip Carter

Until 2016, Philip was the Dictionary’s Senior Research and Publication Editor with responsibility for pre-1800 biographical content, research projects, and public engagement, and now advises on early modern coverage and the ODNB’s programme of historical groups and networks. Philip is Academic Director at the Royal Historical Society.

  • Dr Anders Ingram

Anders was until 2021 the Dictionary’s Research Editor with responsibility for pre-1800 coverage and external engagements and partnerships. He now advises on early modern coverage, as well as digital development of biographical content.

  • Dr Matthew Kilburn

Matthew is a former Research Editor at the Oxford DNB, and now advises the Dictionary’s editors on his specialist interests, which are the eighteenth-century Britain, and the history of the British monarchy and aristocracy.

  • Professor John Maddicott

Professor Maddicott has published works on the political and social history of England in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and advises the Dictionary on these areas as well as medieval coverage.

4. Associate editors

Online updates to the Oxford DNB often provide themed sets of new biographical content. In planning and researching these themed projects, we draw widely on the expertise of external subject specialists. Associate editors who have advised on recent updates to the Oxford DNB online include:

  • Kirstie Blair, Sean Bottomley, Judith Bourne, Mark Bryant, Jane C. Brown, Judith Brown, Matthew Brown, Ian Campbell, Laura Carter, A.G. Cross, Elizabeth Darling, Teresa Doherty, Nicholas Draper, David Fitzpatrick, John Flood, Peter France, Maggie B. Gale, Mark Haworth-Booth, Gad Heuman, Lyndsey Jenkins, Ron Johnston, Ludmilla Jordanova, Miranda Kaufmann, David Killingray, Andrew Lamb, Rachel Lang, Anne Locker, Hugh Macmillan, Ian Michael, Rosemary Mitchell, Kevin Morgan, Paul Murdin, Robert Murphy, Sian Roberts, Valerie Sanders, Otto Saumarez Smith, Christopher Saunders, Georgina Sinclair, Margaret J. Snowling, Mari Takayanagi, Zoe Thomas, Jon Usher, Christopher Webber, Chris Williams, Chris A. Williams, Gareth Williams.

In addition there are more than 400 external advisers, organized in subject panels, upon whose advice the annual releases of recently-deceased biographies are based.