AustLit logo
y separately published work icon Australian Dictionary of Biography reference   biography  
Note: General editor, v. 1-6. Douglas Pike; v. 7-10. Bede Nairn, Geoffrey Serle; v.11. Geoffrey Serle; v. 12-16. John Ritchie; v. 17. Di Langmore; v. 18-19. Melanie Nolan
Issue Details: First known date: 1966-... 1966- Australian Dictionary of Biography
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Australian Dictionary of Biography is a national, co-operative enterprise, founded and maintained by the Australian National University (ANU), as a project that fulfils one of the original purposes of the university.'

Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography website, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/
Sighted: 21/01/2007

Notes

  • v. 1. 1788-1850, A-H – v. 2. 1788-1850, I-Z – v. 3. 1851-1890, A-C – v. 4. 1851-1890, D-J – v. 5. 1851-1890, K-Q – v. 6. 1851-1890, R-Z – v. 7. 1891-1939, A-Ch – v. 8. 1891-1939, Cl-Gib – v. 9. 1891-1939, Gil-Las – v. 10. 1891-1939, Lat-Ner – v. 11. 1891-1939, Nes-Smi – v. 12. 1891-1939, Smy-Z – v. 13. 1940-1980, A-De – Index: volumes 1 to 12, 1788-1939 – v. 14 1940-1980, Di-Kel – v. 15 1940-1980, Kem-Pie – v. 16, 1940-1980, Pik-Z – Supplement: 1580-1980 / / editor: Christopher Cunneen – v. 17. 1981-1990, A-K, v. 18 1981-1990, L-Z, v. 19. 1991-1995, A-Z: editor Melanie Nolan.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Melbourne University Press ; Cambridge University Press ,
      1966- .
      Link: U3118Web resource Sighted: 21/01/2008
      Extent: v.1-17p.
      Note/s:
      • Published in Melbourne by Melbourne University Press and in London and New York by Cambridge University Press.
      ISBN: 0522844596 (index vol.), 0522843808 (vol. 11), 0522852149 (supplement 1580-1980), 0522849970 (vol.16), 0522844375 (vol. 12), 0522841082 (vol. 6), 0522839096 (vol. 3), 0522845126 (vol. 13), 0522841856 (vol. 7), 0522842364 (set), 0522842194 (vol. 8), 0522842739 (vol. 9), 0522843271 (vol. 10), 0522840345 (vol. 4), 052284717X (vol. 14), 9780522853827 (v. 17.), 0522848435 (vol. 15), 0522840612 (vol. 5), 9781760464127 (vol.19)

Works about this Work

Reframing Australian Portraits Frank Bongiorno , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Winter vol. 78 no. 2 2019; (p. 88-94)
'In the corridor where the Australian Dictionary of Biography team does its work at the Australian National University in Canberra, there is a gallery of photographs of those who have led the project since 1962. The first is of Douglas Pike (general editor, 1962–73)—rouseabout, shearer, teacher, clergyman and historian. Pike, the son of missionaries to China, looks squarely at the camera, pipe in mouth: a stereotype of the academic. (Introduction)
An Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography Shino Konishi , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: ‘True Biographies of Nations?’ The Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography 2019; (p. 139-158)
'An Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography (IADB) is a new Australian Research Council–funded research project I am leading with Malcolm Allbrook and Tom Griffiths, which seeks to redress the long-standing underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) by doubling the number of Indigenous biographies within the online ADB, and producing a stand-alone published volume of Indigenous short biographies. Yet, rather than just producing 190 new entries, our aim is also to rethink how Indigenous biographies can be conceptualised, being attentive to how and why Indigenous biography is distinctive, and how Indigenous people, who have long been marginalised and excluded from the national imaginary, can now be better accommodated with the ADB, and hence be better incorporated within the national story.'  (Introduction)
 
Using Lives : The Australian Dictionary of Biography and It's Related Corpora Melanie Nolan , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: ‘True Biographies of Nations?’ The Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography 2019; (p. 79-97)
'The Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) is one of many biographical dictionary projects developing advanced biographical functions. The ADB is the largest and longest-running project of national collaboration of social scientists in Australia, having started in the late 1950s. Over 4,500 authors have contributed to its 13,500 entries. In 2006 the ADB made the cultural journey from a printed book to an online digital research resource. Since then staff have created companion biographical websites: Obituaries Australia, which reproduces published obituaries; and People Australia, which features other biographical material such as records from Who’s Who and out-of-copyright compendiums of biography. People Australia also acts as a Biographical Register. These companion websites now give us the technical capacity to register all deceased Australians in our websites. Since 2011 we have also begun to comprehensively index all entries, which, in turn, allows us to automatically generate visualisation tools, such as family trees.' 

 (Introduction)

The Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of Biography Karen Fox , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: ‘True Biographies of Nations?’ The Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography 2019; (p. 1-18)
'Fifty years after the publication of the first volume of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, in mid-2016 participants from around the English-speaking world gathered in Canberra for the conference ‘“True Biographies of Nations”? Exploring the Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography’.1 Organised by the National Centre of Biography at The Australian National University (ANU) and supported by the National Library of Australia (NLA), the conference provided a rare opportunity for those involved in the production of dictionaries of national biography to come together, along with archivists, librarians, fellow researchers, and members of the public, to reflect on the purpose and place of national biographies in the twenty-first century. The aim was to explore the cultural journeys taken by dictionaries of national biography, to consider the challenges and opportunities facing such projects today, and to gauge the extent of their development into truly national biographies.'  (Publication summary)
Chinese in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and Australia Tiping Su , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Biography and History , December no. 1 2018; (p. 171-180)

'According to Tom Griffiths, chairman of the editorial board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), the dictionary is ‘the largest and most successful cooperative research enterprise in the humanities and social sciences in Australia’, which captures ‘the life and times and culture of this country in an absolutely distinctive and irreplaceable way’.2 Since the first volume was launched in 1966, more than 4,500 authors have contributed just over 13,000 entries. The general editor, Melanie Nolan, has observed that ‘the dictionary has survived the test of time, providing material for others to construct their own images of the “real” Australian or the “typical Australian”’.3 To reflect this ‘real Australian’ ethos, the ADB records the cultural heritage (ethnicity) of subjects. Of the top 10 ethnicities in Australia, as recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a search on the ADB website (adb.anu.edu.au) found that, as of September 2018, 6,624 subjects were of British heritage (4,841 English, 1,624 Scottish, 159 Welsh), 294 were from New Zealand, 32 were Chinese, 10 were Indian, none were of Philippine or Vietnamese heritage, 88 were Italian, 29 were South African, two were Malayan and 321 were German.4 Thus, people of Asian heritage are clearly under-represented. To illustrate the significance of this omission, or neglect, I will take the Chinese entries as an analytic group, and suggest where improvements could be made. The Chinese are of particular importance because they were the largest non-European group in the Australian population in the nineteenth century.'

Source: Introduction.

History Is Catching Up with Us Jim Davidson , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 19 January 2008; (p. 19)

— Review of Australian Dictionary of Biography 1966- reference biography
Grasping Our National Evolution Through Historymakers Dennis Glover , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 February 2008; (p. 12-13)

— Review of Australian Dictionary of Biography 1966- reference biography
Pick a Letter Geoffrey Blainey , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , February no. 298 2008; (p. 14-15)

— Review of Australian Dictionary of Biography 1966- reference biography
The Australian Dictionary of Biography : A National Asset Diane Langmore , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Papers , Summer vol. 20 no. 1 2008; (p. 22-30)

— Review of Australian Dictionary of Biography 1966- reference biography
Figures Woven into Fabric of Nation Mark McGinness , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13-14 July 2013; (p. 30-31) The Age , 13 July 2013; (p. 24) The Canberra Times , 13 July 2013; (p. 23)

— Review of Australian Dictionary of Biography 1966- reference biography
Heroes and Villains Brought to Book 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 2 December 2009; (p. 10)
On 1 December 2009, The Australian National University celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
The Genesis of the ADB 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Biography Footnotes , no. 3 2009;
Laurie Fitzhardinge is remembered at the Australian Dictionary of Biography for having started the Dictionary’s Biographical Register in 1954.
Life Sentences Karen Fox , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: ANU Reporter , Spring vol. 42 no. 3 2011; (p. 8)
'Karen Fox explores the intersections between the Australian honours system and the Australian Dictionary of Biography.'(Editor's abstract)
Portraits in Words Warwick Hirst , 2003 single work essay
— Appears in: Upfront , Winter vol. 15 no. 2 2003; (p. 8)
The Godfather : Peter Corris on the Pleasures of Biography Peter Corris , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , January 2013;

Awards

1966-1967 winner Ernest Scott Prize for  Vols. 1 & 2
Last amended 22 Feb 2021 12:26:53
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X