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The Australian National University

True Biographies of Nations? Exploring the Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography

Date and time

Thursday, 30 June, 2016 - 09:00 - Saturday, 2 July, 2016 - 17:00

Location or Venue

Australian National University, Acton, and National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra

Speakers

Dr Philip Carter (ODNB and Oxford University)
Prof. Sir David Cannadine (ODNB and Princeton University)
Prof. Susan Ware (American National Biography & Harvard)
Turlough O'Riordan (Dictionary of Irish Biography & Royal Irish Academy)
Prof. Elizabeth Ewan (Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women & University of Guelph)

Contacts

person icon Christine Fernon
phone icon 02 6125 4146

Stephen Baxter, The Australian Crowd, 2014.

 

In 2004, the chairman of the supervisory committee of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Keith Thomas, concluded the Leslie Stephen Special Lecture by expressing his hope that the genre of the biographical dictionary would develop into a “database so vast as to be a true national biography”. Given that 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, it is timely to consider the cultural journey that dictionaries of biography have taken and assess the extent to which they are developing into “true” national biographies.

The conference will be held over three days, beginning with a reception on Thursday, 30 June, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of volume one of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. The following two days will consist of papers and panels relating to national dictionary projects.

Reception: 30 June, FREE
Conference:
1-2 July,
Cost $120 ($70 concession: students and pensioners);
Daily rate $60 ($35 concession: students and pensioners)

 

Conference program

Thursday 30 June: Reception: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of the ADB

Venue: Great Hall, University House, Australian National University
Time: 5-8pm

Sir Robert Menzies, a great supporter of the ADB, was invited to launch its first volume in 1966 at University House. We are returning to this venue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that event.

5pm people begin arriving

5.10pm Paul House (Ngambri-Ngurmal and Ngunnawal-Wallabollooa), welcome to country

5.20pm speeches: guest of honour, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

5.40pm food, drink and conversation

6-6.20pm Paul House, musical performance on the didgeridoo

6.20pm food, drink and conversation

Friday 1 July: State of the Art: Opportunities to Transform National Dictionaries of Biography

Venue: National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra

 

8.30-9.00 Registration

 

9.00-9.30 NLA & ANU welcomes

NLA welcome: Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Director-General

ANU welcome: Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, ANU Chancellor

9.30-11.00 Using Lives? Utilizing the rich databases we are creating

Prof. Melanie Nolan (ADB & ANU), ‘Using Lives: the ADB and its related corpora’

Christine Fernon and Scott Yeadon (ADB, ANU), ‘NCB/ADB websites: The value of value adding’

Chair: Dr Malcolm Allbrook

listen to the podcast

 

11.00-11.30  Morning Tea

 

11.30-1.00 Global biography? The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, big data and transnational networks

Dr Philip Carter (ODNB and Oxford University), ‘What is national biography for? Past, Present and Future Journeys’

Prof. Sir David Cannadine (ODNB and Princeton University), ‘Oxford in the World: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Global Biography’

Chair: Prof. Paul Arthur

listen to the podcast

 

1.00-2.00 Lunch

 

2.00-3.30 Bringing the nation back in? A debate on the contemporary role of national dictionary projects

Em. Prof. Jock Phillips, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Dr Malcom Allbrook, Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography

Kent Fitch, computing and database specialist

Chair: Prof. Nicholas Brown

listen to the podcast

 

3.30-4.00 Afternoon Tea

 

4.00-5.30 Panel discussion: Revising dictionaries

Prof. Susan Ware (American National Biography & Harvard), ‘Why Gender Matters: Fostering Diversity in the American National Biography’

Turlough O'Riordan (Dictionary of Irish Biography & Royal Irish Academy) ‘The Irish World: How to revise a long-standing dictionary project’

Prof. Elizabeth Ewan (Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women & University of Guelph) ‘Revising the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: Questions of Identity, History and Technology’

Chair: Prof. Ira Nadel (former editor Dictionary of Literary Biography, University of British Columbia)

listen to the podcast

 

Saturday 2 July: Challenges Facing Digital
Biographical Dictionary Projects

Venue: National Library of Australia Parkes Place, Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra

 

8.30-9.00 Registration

 

9.00-11.00 Building on the Past: Looking to the Future
Roundtable on Dictionary resources within the nation

Moderator: Dr Karen Fox (ADB, ANU): Setting the scene: History of Australasian biographical dictionaries and the issues they face

Kerry Kilner, University of Queensland (AustLit)

Dr Nikki Henningham, Australian Women’s Register

Kay Walsh, Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate

Dr Odette Best, Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography

Ass. Prof. Gavan McCarthy, eScholarship Research Centre (Encyclopedia of Australian Science)

listen to the podcast

 

11.00-11.30  Morning Tea

 

11.30-12.30 Publishing in the Digital Age: privacy and access, rights

Em. Prof. Jock Phillips, Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Ass. Prof. Gavan McCarthy, eScholarship Research Centre (Encyclopedia of Australian Science)

Prof. Melanie Nolan (ADB)

Prof. Susan Ware (ANB)

Chair: Dr Nicole McLennan

listen to the podcast

 

12.30-1.30 Lunch

 

1.30-3.00 Beyond the Nation: Writing a Dictionary of World Biography

Barry Jones, AC FAA FACE FAHA FASSA FTSE (University of Melbourne, formerly Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge) in conversation with Prof. Sir David Cannadine

Chair: Dr Samuel Furphy

listen to the podcast

 

3.00 Conference End

Updated: 7 May 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, NCB / Page Contact:  Web Publisher