The American National Biography (ANB) is the premier biographical work on people who have influenced and shaped American history and culture. It is the first biographical resource of this scope to be published in more than 60 years, succeeding the venerable Dictionary of American Biography, also sponsored by ACLS. Over a decade in preparation, the ANB not only reflects new findings and interpretations about major figures in politics, religion, the military, education, business, literature, and the arts but also includes new scholarship about men and women long hidden from history: Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities.
Funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation supported the project.
The ANB was published by Oxford University Press in 24 volumes in 1999. Its online counterpart, American National Biography Online, is a regularly updated resource currently offering over 18,700 biographies and more than 80,000 hyper-linked cross-references . A twenty-fifth volume was published in 2002, including entries originally published in the ANB Online.
The general editors of the 24-volume set were John A. Garraty of Columbia University and Mark C. Carnes of Barnard College. Susan Ware now serves as general editor of ANB Online.