The archive, which updates online every January, May and October has chosen Scotland as one of its themes this year along with Latin America.

In total 96 names are being added bringing the total number of biographies included in the resource to 57,045.

Biographies include Ayrshire-born poet Robert Burns's wife and muse Jean Armour, author John McNeillie, who wrote under the pseudonym Ian Niall and penned the novel Wigtown Ploughman, and Archibald Leitch, who designed the Ibrox stadium where 26 people were killed in 1902 in a stadium collapse.

Dr Philip Carter, publication editor at the Oxford DNB, said: "Our starting point really was the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. We wanted to do something to commemorate that along with the idea of homecoming in the Homecoming Year.

"About 40 of the 96 additions are Scottish. Just over 2,000 biographies have been added to the online version since 2004.

"We are interested in lives where people have left their mark on an aspect of national life.

"We commission expert specialist authors to write pieces on the material. It's written by people immersed in the subject."

Speaking about the Latin America theme, Dr Carter said: "There are many rich stories of individuals that became quite significant in Latin America - often little known here in Britain.

"It's been a relatively underdeveloped area."

Other biographies added to the database include Lewis Jones, who lived from 1837 to 1904 and was a founding settler of the Welsh colony in Patagonia, and Tipperary-born soldier Peter Campbell, who lived from 1782 to 1832 and was dubbed the "Irish Gaucho". He became a guerrilla leader, adopted local culture, and is acknowledged as the founder of the Uruguayan navy.

The Oxford DNB online is available free to most library users in the UK. Some library members can also access the biographies from their home computers.

It is published by Oxford University Press and is a joint project between Oxford University and Oxford University Press.