Australian Dictionary of Biography

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is Australia's pre-eminent dictionary of national biography. In it you will find concise, informative and fascinating descriptions of the lives of significant and representative persons in Australian history.

See what distinguished Australians are saying about the ADB.

The ADB is produced by the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University.


* *Proposed ADB entries for people who died 1991-2000* *

Feature Article

William Cain (1831–1914)

William Cain

William Cain (1831-1914), businessman, was born at Rushen Abbey, Isle of Man, and baptized on 21 April 1831, son of Robert Cain, mason, and his wife Jane, née Curphey. Educated locally and at the Liverpool Institute, he worked for a year with the Admiralty survey of the Isle of Man and then in Douglas learnt the building business. In 1852 he sailed to Victoria in the Anna, arrived in July and headed for the Bendigo goldfields. Unsuccessful as a digger he returned to contracting and built the...

Read more

What’s New

1996 Entries

Browse through the list of articles for people who died in 1996

29 March 2021

ADB volume 19

ADB volume 19 published
Read more ...

17 December 2020

Biography Footnotes

Biography Footnotes, no. 21
Read more ...

23 December 2019

Biography Footnotes

Biography Footnotes no. 20
Read more ...

All news
Born This Day

John Dunmore Campbell (1854–1909)

James Campbell (1830-1904), businessman and manufacturer, was born on 6 March 1830 at Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland, son of John Campbell, farmer, and his wife Helen, née Morison. Trained as a plasterer,...

Read more

All births on this day

All deaths on this day