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Michigan State University

British Victorian Period Research: Biographical Dictionaries

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English literature and in history. Last updated 06-01-2023

Biographical Dictionaries

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

DA 28 .O95 2004 v. 1-60 Main
Absolutely the most up to date and scholarly biographical dictionary of the famous deceased British and Irish.  Supplement 2001-2004 also in Main DA 28 .O95 2009. 

AHRnet Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Architects 1800-1950

Contains biographical, bibliographical and Internet data on architects born or working in Ireland, Wales and Scotland during years 1800-1950.  Also has information on architectural firms and online and print sources.

Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society

Archive of biographies of members of the Royal Society, content older than one year, accessible free on the internet.  The Royal Society first began publishing short obituaries of its fellows in 1830 in its Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.  From 1932 fuller memoirs of nearly every deceased fellow and foreign members have been in their Obituaries... (1932-54) and then in their Biographical Memoirs... from 1955 onwards.

Clergy of the Church of England Database

From 1540 to 1835, the Church of England was one of Britain's largest employers.  Search clerical records for more than "155,000 individual clerics or schoolteachers" from over fifty different archives in England and Wales. Search by name and fields such as diocese, location, and date range, and browse people, locations, and bishops according to diocese.  Reference section contains bibliographies, lists of bishops and locations, and a glossary.  Directed by Arthur Burns at King's College London, Kenneth Fincham at the University of Kent, and Stephen Taylor at Durham University.

Great Lives from History: the 19th Century, 1801-1900

CT 119 .G69 2007 v. 1-4 Remote Storage

Three to five page essays, with bibliographic references, on significant persons in agriculture, government and politics, literature, etc.  Persons' historical roles, areas of achievement, biographical details, significances.

Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy Main DA 28.1 .P27 2011

British Biographical Index.

CT 773 f.B75 v. 1-4 Remote Storage
Indexes the contents of the British Biographical Archive (on fiche in Microforms DA 28 .B7), which contains the contents of 324 of the most important British biographical dictionaries published from 1601 to 1929.

Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Q 141 .D53 1981 Remote Storage

Women in World History: a Biographical Encyclopedia

HQ 1115 .W66 1999 v. 1-17 Reference

Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives from Ancient Times to the mid-20th Century

Q 141 .B585 2000 v. 1-2   Reference

New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women  DA 758.4 .B56 N49 2018 Main

Victorian Biography: a Checklist of Contemporary Biographies of British Men and Women Dying between 1851 and 1901

CT 782 .B4 1993 Remote Storage

Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: from the Earliest Times to 2004 Main DA 758.4 .B56 2006

Women's Art of the British Empire

Biographical dictionary.  Examines multiracial arts and crafts from the British Empire by women artists.