The latest update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—published on Thursday 17 September 2015—adds biographies of 112 men and women active between the thirteenth and the early twenty-first century.
The new update includes a special focus on men and women active during the First World War—in combat and on the home front—with a particular interest in the events of 1915. New additions include the physicians Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray who opened the Endell Street Military Hospital, London, in May 1915; it remains the only British army hospital staffed and run by women. Military inventions from 1915 include the bowl-shaped Brodie helmet (named after its designer John Brodie) which went into production 100 years ago this month. By the end of the war, seven million of these helmets had been produced. Other war-time lives include the boy soldier Horace Iles (1900-1916) who was killed at the Somme; his biography is now part of school education programmes run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
September’s update also concludes a 3-year research project to extend the Oxford DNB’s coverage of the medieval religious—the abbots, abbesses, priors, and prioresses who led England’s religious houses until the Reformation. The project has added 56 first-time biographies. To mark the project’s completion, Professor Claire Cross of York University considers these Lives of the Religious for what they can tell us about medieval monasticism, and how those in office in the 1520s and 1530s responded to the Reformation.
- Highlights from the Oxford DNB’s September 2015 update
- Video on recent and forthcoming updates from the Oxford DNB, in 2015-16
Dr Philip Carter, Publication Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography