Thursday, October 08, 2009

Public Service Announcement

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which summarizes lives from two millennia of British history, is five years old. The writing is sometimes mildly colorful (depending on the life, of course) and necessarily concise. Click through for a sampling of what's on offer.

They provide a Life of the Day via email or RSS and a podcast fortnightly (not often enough!) featuring one life, currently Philip Larkin. The Larkin podcast was revealing to me: while I greatly admire his poetry and own "Collected," I knew little about him beyond recalling he was a librarian who never married.

If updates daily and fortnightly aren't enough for you, many US and UK libraries offer access for free (even from home with certain library memberships).

I presume Oxford is too staid to appreciate the slogan I propose: If you are tired of ODNB, you are tired of lives.

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