Note on the Dictionary

The Dictionary of National Biography comprises the following distinct works:

1. The D.N.B. from the earliest times to 1900, in two alphabetical series, (a) Vols. 1-XXI, (6) the Supplementary Vol. XXII. At the end of each volume is an alphabetical index of the lives in that volume and of those in Vol. XXII which belong to the same part of the alphabet.

2. The Twentieth-Century D.N.B.

(a) Supplement 1901-1971, three volumes in one.
(b) Supplement 1912-1921, in preparation.

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3. The Concise D.N.B., in one volume, being an Epitome of the main work and its supplements to 1900, in one alphabetical series, followed by the Epitome of the Supplement 1901-1911.

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Library Science ст 773

Reprinted at the Oxford University Press 1921-1922 from plates furnished by Messrs. Spottiswoode & Co.


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In the present reprint (1921-1922) of the twenty-two volumes of the main Dictionary it has seemed best to leave the text unaltered. The bulk of the corrections hitherto received, or collected, by the present Publishers is insignificant when compared with the magnitude of the work, and would not justify the issue of a 'new edition ' purporting to supersede the editions now in the libraries and in private hands. The collection and classification of such corrections for future use is, however, being steadily carried on; and students of biography are invited to communicate their discoveries to the present Publishers or to their Advisers, Professor H. W. C. DAVIS of the University of Manchester, and Mr. J. R. H. WEAVER of Trinity College, Oxford.

The Publishers do not contemplate the separate publication of mere lists of errata; but they would be glad to consider for publication special studies in National Biography, correcting or adding to the information now available in the Dictionary, and possessing such unity of subject as would give them independent value. Any proposals in this field should be addressed to Professor Davis. Two changes have been made in the present impression:

1. The lists of Contributors originally prefixed to each of the sixty-six volumes, and later combined in twenty-two lists, have been combined in one list, which is now prefixed to each volume.

2. In using the main Dictionary (to 1900) it is necessary to remember that it is in two alphabetical series: Vols. 1-21, and the supplementary Vol. 22, in which were added lives of persons who had died too late for inclusion in their places (as well as lives of some who had been accidentally omitted). It has been sought to mitigate the inconvenience arising from this by adding to the index at the end of each volume those names, occurring in Vol. 22, which belong to the same part of the alphabet. These 'supplementary' names are added at the bottom of each page. It is thus possible to ascertain, by reference to a single volume, whether any person (who died before 1901) is or is not in the 22-volume Dictionary.

The opportunity has been taken, in accordance with the wishes of the donors, to commemorate upon each title-page the name of the munificent Founder.

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