Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the criteria for inclusion?

The subject is not required to have been born within the boundaries of the modern county of Cumbria, but must have spent some time here. They must, at the time of submission, be deceased.

It is expected that the majority of subjects will have achieved something of particular interest or value within or beyond the remit of their employment. Post holders are not automatically eligible, though their names and basic details may be included in the Index.

Following the success of wartime Mass Observation and more recently the enthusiasm generated by Oral History, we believe in advocacy.  If a contributor is prepared to research, write and submit a life which is up to standard, it is not essential that the subject is a conventional one.  In a county where farmers, auctioneers, craftspeople, outward bound instructors and climbers loom large in the population, it seems appropriate to commemorate some of them.

In a county where tourism has been important for many generations, we decided to include prominent visitors, at least in the Index.  The ODNB includes international visitors and the DCB may in due course do this too.

2. How does one become a contributor?

Please contact the editor.  We are, in general, following the guide and format established by the ODNB.  For further details see the section on Contributors on the ODNB website via Tools and Resources and scroll down to Page for Contributors.

3. What is the editorial process?

A draft of a life is first submitted to the editor who makes the first assessment.  Then the text is passed on to at least one other critical reader, especially in the case of subjects with esoteric occupations, to ensure the quality is maintained.  Contributors may be asked to make alterations or to do some more research in a specific area.

4. Would publication in Cumbrian Lives facilitate acceptance by the editors of the ODNB?

The editors of the ODNB are keen to include more Cumbrians in the national project.  However, inclusion in Cumbrian Lives does not guarantee their acceptance of a new life.

5. What structure should I use if I wish to write a life?

The ODNB website has a free access page to guide new Contributors which is extremely useful. Follow the links from the bottom of their About page. Alternatively read several full lives on this website.

6. Who holds the copyright?

Visitors to the site are welcome to use the data but are asked to acknowledge both the writer and the editors of Cumbrian Lives.

7. How else might I help?

Apart from donations we are keen to encourage new editors and sub-editors. We would also like to locate someone interested in picture research and someone adept at social media. Training will be provided.  Please contact the editor if you are interested.

8. What about Illustrations?

Images are being sought for each subject.  Some of these are oil paintings or drawings, others are photographs.  Occasionally an image of a building or a representative object may be used instead.

9. What about the Copyright of Images?

Most images here have text, which is visible if the cursor is rested upon it.  Many of the pictures have been sourced through the Cumbrian Image Bank online.  In other cases the specific owner of the copyright is indicated.  We have endeavoured to locate each copyright owner but please let us know if any title is incorrect, incomplete or missing.