– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

searching for biographical information (1)

Top tip for archival research: if you are looking for biographical information about someone from the UK, check the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) first. Even if you think the subject of your research might not be ’eminent’ enough – you’d be surprised. The ODNB also has a fantastic series of historic themes, bringing related (and sometimes surprising) networks of biographies together. The online version is available by subscription, but even if you are not affiliated to a subscribing institution, you may be able to log in via your public library card number – check with your local library. Try starting with their local and family history page: http://global.oup.com/oxforddnb/info/freeodnb/local/
For biographical information about former (i.e. deceased) members of Balliol College, start here: http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Past%20members/trace.asp

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