Dictionary of African Biography

General Editors: Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Executive Editor: Steven J. Niven: sjniven@fas.harvard.edu
DAB Website: http://tinyurl.com/African-Biography

From the Pharaohs to Frantz Fanon, the Dictionary of African Biography (DAB) provides a comprehensive overview of the lives of Africans who shaped African history. The project will be unprecedented in scale, covering the whole of the continent from Tunisia to South Africa, from Sierra Leone to Somalia. It will also encompass the full scope of history from Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt (1490–1468 BC) and Hannibal, the military commander and strategist of Carthage (243–183 BC), to Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana (1909–1972), Miriam Makeba (1932–2008), and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (1918–). Individuals will be drawn from all walks of life, including philosophers, politicians, activists, entertainers, scholars, poets, scientists, religious figures, kings, and everyday people whose lives have contributed to Africa’s history. Work on the print edition of the DAB was completed in the Spring of 2011. Oxford University Press published the six-volume, 2100-entry print edition of the DAB in November 2011. That edition was honored with the Library Journal Best Reference Award, General Reference, for 2011. In 2013 the Times (London) Literary Supplement praised the DAB as an “invaluable work,” which shows convincingly that Africa's history is as rich, complex, colourful and compelling as that of any other part of the world.”

The DAB continues to solicit entries, with a goal of reaching 10,000 biographies. New entries will be added and existing entries updated in an online edition. Beginning in 2013 all online DAB entries are accessible at http://www.oxfordaasc.com/public/

New online only entries added in May 2013 include Firmus, a 4th century Berber revolutionary in Roman North Africa, and Rachid al-Ghannouchi, a leader of the 2011 Arab Spring in Tunisia.

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