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The Oxford DNB at 10: new research opportunities in the humanities

The publication of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in September 2004 was a milestone in the history of scholarship, not least for crossing from print to digital publication. Prior to this moment a small army of biographers, myself among them, had worked almost entirely from paper sources, including the stately volumes of the first, Victorian ‘DNB’ and its 20th-century print supplement volumes. But the Oxford DNB of 2004 was conceived from the outset as a database and published online as web pages, not paper pages reproduced in facsimile.

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Oxford University Press during World War I

By Lizzie Shannon-Little and Martin Maw
The very settled life of Oxford University Press was turned upside down at the outbreak of the First World War; 356 of the approximately 700 men that worked for the Press were conscribed, the majority in the first few months. The reduction of half of the workforce and the ever-present uncertainty of the return of friends and colleagues must have made the Press a very difficult place to work.

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Leonardo da Vinci from the Benezit Dictionary of Artists

Leonardo da Vinci was the illegitimate son of the Florentine notary Ser Piero da Vinci, who married Albiera di Giovanni Amadori, the daughter of a patrician family, in the year Leonardo was born. Little is known about the artist’s natural mother, Caterina, other than that five years after Leonardo’s birth she married an artisan from Vinci named Chartabriga di Piero del Veccha.

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Have you heard? Oxford DNB releases 200th episode in biography podcast

By Philip Carter
Way back in 2007, when Twittering truly was for the birds, a far-sighted editor at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography piped up: maybe people would like to listen as well as read? So was devised the Oxford DNB‘s biography podcast which this week released its 200th episode—the waggerly tale of Charles Cruft (1852-1938), founder of the eponymous dog show held annually in early March.

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An Oxford Companion to Valentine’s Day

By Daniel Parker
It’s big, it’s red, and it’s here. Valentine’s Day strikes fear into the hearts of men and women around the Western world like nothing else can. But you needn’t run scared of the Hallmark branded teddy bears. Oh no. Follow the sprinkling of rose petals, the sweet aroma of scented candles, and the dulcet tones of Phil Collins up the stairs to the luxury boudoir that is Oxford University Press.

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UK National Libraries Day 2014: “Why we love libraries”

Today is National Libraries Day in the United Kingdom, and hundreds of activities and events are taking place in public libraries of all shapes and sizes — from the multi-million pound Library of Birmingham, to the tiniest local libraries run by volunteers — in order to celebrate our wonderful librarians, and the libraries they run. To celebrate National Libraries Day, we asked a few of our staff what they love about public libraries.

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An Oxford Companion to Superman

By Deborah Sims
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it another Superman-related blogpost to tie in with today’s release of Man of Steel? Hold on to the bulging blue bicep of Oxford University Press and prepare to gaze below in wonder as we take you on a ride over the past 80 years of Superman.

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An Oxford guide to women’s history: quiz

In the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography you’ll currently find biographies of 6340 women who’ve shaped British history and culture between the 1st and 21st century — making it one of the most extensive accounts of women’s contribution to national life. Who are these women?

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National Libraries Day UK

Ever wondered what the Latin word for owl is? Or what links Fred Perry and Ping Pong? Maybe not, but you may be able to find the answers to these questions and many more at your fingertips in your local library. As areas for ideas, inspiration, imagination, and information Public Libraries are stocked full of not only books but online resources to help one and all find what they need.

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An Oxford Companion to James Bond

By Daniel ‘Pussy Galore’ Parker and Gabby ‘Odd Job’ Fletcher
‘Ah’, he says stroking a white fluffy cat, ‘we’ve been expecting you’. Leave Ms Moneypenny with a peck on the cheek, stash your Walther PPK in your back pocket and jump into our Aston Martin so you can join us as we speed through an A to Z of Bond fun, fact, and fiction. We have stories about Roger Moore’s penchant for love-making, tales of fictional islands, and even anecdotes about crocodile jumping. We’ve devoured OUP’s online reference works to bring you a delicious helping of double 0 heaven. Welcome to the world of Bond, James Bond

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The Oxford Companion to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony

By Alice Northover
Many questioned how the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was going to make a mark after the spectacular Beijing Olympics only four years earlier. While Beijing presented the Chinese people moving as one body — dancing, marching, and presenting a united front to the world — the British answer was a chaotic and spirited ceremony, shifting from cricket matches to coordinated dance routines, Mr Bean’s comedic dream to a 100-foot Lord Voldemort.

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A new era at the American National Biography

In April 2012, the American National Biography gladly received a new general editor: Susan Ware. Mark Carnes welcomed his successor, saying, “A superb choice! Susan Ware is an outstanding biographer, a proven editor, and a wonderful person. She will thrive in a job whose importance does not preclude it from being great fun.” We’re excited to have Susan leading the ANB and she’s offered a sneak peak of her plans for improving and extending this fantastic resource.

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