The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is a standard reference work which should be the starting point for anyone seeking biographical information about the history of Wales. Many users will read nothing beyond the DWB article. Articles should provide enough information to depict the subject clearly and to show his/her importance to the life of Wales (and beyond as appropriate), and do so in an interesting and readable manner. They should not be panegyrics, but honest assessments of the subject’s contribution, recognising weaknesses and failures as well as achievements. Articles are expected to be fully researched and the facts substantiated as far as possible. They must be the author’s original work, and it is not acceptable to reproduce passages from other sources without acknowledgement.

Some of the recent articles on the website can serve as models of structure and style, such as the actor Richard Burton (a good example of balanced treatment, and of highlighting the Welsh background of an international figure), the author Elaine Morgan, the mathematician Mary Warner, and the rugby player Clive Sullivan.

Every article should include the following basic information, as far as possible:

Personal information about the subject

Name: full name, with any other names such as bardic name, professional name, abbreviations and nicknames

Dates: full dates of birth, death and burial / cremation

Places: place of birth, residence(s), death and burial / cremation

Character: any characteristics in terms of personality and, perhaps, physical appearance

Cause of death


Father: full name, dates (years only), occupation

Mother: full name, maiden name, dates (years only), occupation (if appropriate)

Siblings: number of brothers and sisters, names, order in relation to the subject

Spouse or partner: full names, and for a wife former name, dates (years only), year of marriage or beginning of relationship

Children: number, names, from which relationship if more than one, further information if relevant and interesting


Education: school, college, university, with dates, degrees and qualifications


Appointments: dates of appointment to significant posts / offices

Honours: titles, membership of societies, public bodies, etc.

Achievements and legacy: details of the most important achievements, titles and dates of main works, with summary of other work

Significance: a balanced judgement on the importance of the subject's contribution, i.e. the reason why s/he deserves to be remembered


The sources used for the article (including personal knowledge and oral sources), obituaries, biographies and authoritative treatments (where appropriate), and references to visual representations of the subject, film and sound material, and collections of archives and papers. The subject’s publications need not be listed (apart from autobiographies).

The Opening formula

The article should begin thus:

JONES, SARAH RHIANNON DAVIES (1921-2014), author and lecturer

Rhiannon Davies Jones was born on 4 November 1921 in Llanbedr, Meirioneth, the second daughter of Hugh Davies Jones (1872-1924), a Baptist minister, and his wife Laura (née Owen, 1887-1977), a teacher.

Or, if full dates are not available for the parents:

PRYCE, THOMAS MALDWYN (1949-1977), racing driver

Tom Pryce was born in Denbighshire, on 11 June 1949, and brought up in Nantglyn. He was the second son of Jack Pryce (died 2007), a police constable and later a sergeant, and his wife Gwyneth (née Hughes, died 2009), a district nurse. His older brother, David J. Pryce (1947-50), died at the age of three.

Everything in the heading line will go directly into the contents list. Please keep the statement of occupation succinct, noting only the main activity and claim to fame, which may or may not be the same. Note that the first full sentence uses the most common form of the subject’s name.

The summary information at the head of articles online is produced automatically from the contents of the article, and there is no need to provide it in that form.

It would be very helpful if you could provide a separate list of full names, with dates where possible, for all persons referred to in your article. This is for a database kept by NLW.

Contributors are asked to agree to publication of their article on the DWB website under a ‘Creative Commons Attribution’ licence. By applying a Creative Commons to your contribution(s), you allow others to use and re-purpose the work under certain terms and conditions without any further consent from you.

If any significant new information or bibliographical references become available after your article has been published, please let the Editor of DWB know so that we can keep the online version as up to date as possible.