Guidelines for Contributors

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.

Some of the most recent articles on the website can serve as models of structure and style, such as the one on Richard Burton (a good example of balanced treatment, and of highlighting the Welsh background of an international figure), the one on Alun Creunant Davies (which succeeds in explaining the importance of his contribution), and the one on Saunders Lewis.

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), date 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.

The Opening formula

The article should begin thus:

JONES, ALUN JEREMIAH ('ALUN CILIE') (1897-1975), farmer and poet.

Alun Cilie was born at Cilie farm near Llangrannog, Ceredigion, on 4 March 1897, the twelfth and last of the children of Jeremiah Jones (1855-1902), blacksmith and farmer, and his wife Mary (née George, 1853-1930).

Underlining is used for cross-references within DWB; the link on the name Jeremiah Jones here leads to the article 'Jones (FAMILY), Cilie'.

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 (d. 2007), a police constable and later a sergeant, and his wife Gwyneth (née Hughes, d. 2009), a district nurse. His older brother, David J. Pryce (1947-50), died at the age of three.

Everything up to the first full stop 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. So the first example above indicates that Alun Cilie made his living as a farmer but is remembered for his poetry, whilst in the second only a single descriptor is needed. Note that the first full sentence uses the most common form of the subject's name.

It would also 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.

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.