FAQs

For information about the American National Biography Online (the ANB), including its history and how often it’s updated, please visit our About page.

For help using the ANB, including how to log in, search, and browse, please visit our Help pages.

Click on a question to be taken straight to the answer. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

About the ANB

How to use the ANB

Technical and access questions

About the ANB

Is the ANB free, or do I need a subscription to access it?

Yes, in order to access the content on the ANB you, or your library, must purchase access to the content. Find out how to subscribe.

How can I see the newest content published online? 

You can click this link to see recently published articles.

What's the difference between the American National Biography and the Dictionary of American Biography?

The original Dictionary of American Biography (DAB) was published by Charles Scribner's Sons between 1927 and 1936; the last supplement was published in 1985 and includes people who died no later than 1980. While the DAB has been an essential resource, historical scholarship has advanced considerably in the last sixty years. In publishing the American National Biography (ANB), Oxford University Press and the American Council of Learned Societies have produced a new work that incorporates the vast amount of new historical research that has emerged since World War II.

The DAB covers approximately 19,000 subjects; of these 10,000 are in the ANB as completely new biographies with the latest factual information and interpretations; the bibliographies that follow each article are also new. The ANB features over 7,000 figures not in any volume of the DAB – most of them people who died after 1980.

I would like to suggest a new article or an edit to an existing article. What should I do?

We welcome our readers’ feedback! Please contact us with as much detail as possible, and the editorial team will review your suggestion.

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How to use the ANB

Do Boolean operators and other search helpers work?

Yes. Common searching commands, such as double quotes or parentheses around search terms, * wildcard, and Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT, will work when searching.

Why do the filtering options on my search or browse results keep changing?

Many of these filters are dynamic, and only appear when matching articles are present in the results list. For more on searching, see our Quick search section on the help page.

Can I print content, or save it as a PDF?

Yes. You can print and save individual articles to which you have access. To generate a PDF of an individual article, simply click on the "PDF" icon link at the top right of the article text, then download the PDF using your web browser. To print an article hover over the “share” icon and choose “Print” from the list that appears. Please note that copyright restrictions apply. 

Find out more about the article page in our Help section.

How much material can I legally print or save to PDF?

You are limited by copyright restrictions to the amount of information you can print and download. It is very important that you read our Privacy Policy and Legal Notice, which includes information on downloading PDFs.

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Technical and access questions

Which browsers should I use?

The ANB is designed to display and function correctly on the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and MS Edge.

Will my screen-reader software work?

The ANB has full W3C Priority 1 and 2 compliance, as well as most applicable Priority 3 items. It is one of the most accessible sites of its kind and should work with most popular screen-reading software. We are committed to making our resources accessible for all scholars. Please contact us with questions or feedback.

What is your policy on third party data mining?

Oxford University Press recognizes the research benefit of Text and Data Mining (TDM) across a variety of research fields. As such, we are happy to accommodate TDM for non-commercial use. Researchers are not required to request permission for non-commercial text-mining, but if you have any questions please e-mail Data.Mining@oup.com

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