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Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds its 60,000th person in the latest update

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Two_Women_in_a_Garden_(Ravilious)The latest update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—published on Thursday 6 October 2016—adds biographies of 89 men and women active over 500 years of British history.

October’s update includes an entry on the artist Tirzah Garwood (1908-1951), who was married to Eric Ravilious, who becomes the 60,000th person to be added to Dictionary.

The October update also adds 35 biographies of early nineteenth-century slave-owners, who were recipients of compensation from the Commissioners of Slave Compensation after the passing of the Abolition Act in 1833. These biographies have been researched and written in collaboration with the new Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership at University College London.

New figures include John Stewart (1789-1860), a slave owner in Berbice, who was probably of African descent. As an MP, Stewart represented the concerns of the West India interest while establishing business interests in the City of London: he is thought to have been the first MP of black or mixed race.

The October update also adds 40 biographies of men and women associated with the city of Hull, which is UK City of Culture, 2017. Among those now added to the Dictionary are Ethel Leginska (1886-1970)—who was born in Hull, and became a noted composer and the first woman to conduct some of the world’s leading orchestras—and Jean Hartley (1933-2011) who published The Less Deceived—the first volume of poems by Philip Larkin, following the poet’s arrival in Hull.

October’s update also adds 2500 new links from ODNB entries to external resources, offering additional biographical information. These include:

Highlights from the new edition are available here. The Oxford DNB is the national record of 60,000 men and women who’ve shaped all walks of British life, worldwide, from the Roman occupation to the 21st century.

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