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Author Archives: Peter Salt


Bibliography of British and Irish History updated

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The City of London seen from Greenwich Observatory. Click here for a larger version.

The City of London seen from Greenwich Observatory. Click here for a larger version.

An update to the Bibliography of British and Irish History was released on 13 October, containing 4,968 new records, bringing the overall total to 553,503. 224 of these new records relate to the history of London, including information on recently completed theses about London’s history provided by the Centre for Metropolitan History.

We would like to remind you that discounted individual subscriptions to the Bibliography are currently available to Friends of the IHR.  More information can be found in our earlier post.

We expect that the next update to the Bibliography will appear in February 2015.

Discounted subscriptions to the Bibliography of British and Irish History for IHR Friends

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Looking down from the top of the IHR stairs.

Looking down from the top of the IHR stairs.

Discounted subscriptions to the online Bibliography of British and Irish History are available to Friends of the IHR who may not have access to the Bibliography through a university or other institution. The Bibliography is a joint project of the IHR, the Royal Historical Society and Brepols Publishers, and is the most extensive guide available to what has been published on British and Irish history. It covers the history of British and Irish relations with the rest of the world, including the British empire and the Commonwealth, as well as British and Irish domestic history. It includes not only books, but also articles in journals and articles within collective volumes. It is updated three times a year and currently includes nearly 550,000 records, with a further update expected during October; subscribers can sign up for email alerts notifying them when new records are added on subjects in which they are interested.

Friends of the IHR (including American Friends) can subscribe to the Bibliography for one third of the normal cost of an individual subscription. The sign-up period for the Friends’ discounts starts on 1 October and runs until 15 December 2014 for the 2015 subscription year. New subscribers will have access to the Bibliography as soon as their subscription has been processed but all subscriptions will run until 31 December 2015, so you can enjoy nearly fifteen months’ access for the price of twelve. To apply please contact the Development Office by email or by telephoning (0)20 7862 8791. For more information about the Friends, and the other benefits of joining, please visit the Friends’ web pages. Similar discounts are available to Fellows and Members of the Royal Historical Society who will receive information in their autumn mailing, as usual.

Bibliography of British and Irish History updated

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The library, Trinity College Dublin.  Eighteenth-century watercolour by James Malton

The library, Trinity College Dublin. Eighteenth-century watercolour by James Malton

An update to the Bibliography of British and Irish History was published on 26 February. Over 4,000 new records have been added; over half of these are for publications of 2013-14.  Some 700 new records relate to Irish history while 186 deal with the history of London.

We are pleased to welcome a new section editor to our team, Dr Elaine Murphy of Plymouth University, who will handle material on Irish history, 1640-1800. We now have three editors helping us to deal with Irish history; Dr Beth Hartland (Ireland before 1640) and Dr Marie Coleman (Ireland since 1800) complete our Irish history team.

There have also been some improvements to the metrics; we continue to welcome your feedback on these.

We expect to release the next update in June.  You can always find out more about the Bibliography at http://www.history.ac.uk/projects/bbih or, if you already have access to the Bibliography, you can sign up for email alerts so as to be notified each time the Bibliography is updated with records on a subject or subjects of your choice.

International Bibliography of Humanism and the Renaissance seeks contributors

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Bookwheel from Le diverse et artificiose machine del Capitano Agostino Ramelli (1588)

The International Bibliography of Humanism and the Renaissance (IBHR), formerly published by Librairie Droz as Bibliographie Internationale de l’Humanisme et de la Renaissance, has been working since 1965 to identify all publications relating to humanism and the Renaissance, interpreted in a broad sense, in terms of both content and chronology.  The bibliography will henceforth be published by Brepols, who already publish the International Medieval Bibliography and the Bibliography of British and Irish History (the latter a joint project with the Royal Historical Society and IHR Digital).

In the course of this year the IBHR will undergo major changes and will be relaunched on Brepols’ online platform, Brepolis. Its new search interface will be similar to the one used across all Brepols bibliographic databases and will therefore benefit from the advanced search technologies embedded in them. New features will include linking with online full text where available, and the export of bibliographic references using a variety of software packages (EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero).

In conjunction with these developments, IBHR is seeking support from scholars in relevant fields with a view to extending the coverage provided by the bibliography.  The editors are looking for contributors who will identify and index monographs and articles in both journals and books, following a standard citation format, and assigning appropriate keywords, using the IBHR online input platform. Contributors will be remunerated according to the number of complete items submitted.

Contributors should possess:

  • Access to a research library with strong holdings in European history of the 16th-17th centuries.
  • A Master’s or doctoral degree in early modern European history or a related subject.
  • Fluency in English, French, German, Spanish, or Italian. Passive knowledge of other European
    languages will be considered an asset.
  • Ability and commitment to deliver one hundred citations each year, or more.

If you are interested in becoming a contributor, the publishers would like to hear from you. Enquiries should be made to Chris VandenBorre, Publishing Manager.

 

 

Bibliography of British and Irish History updated

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BBIH was updated on 14 October with 4,735 new records, bringing the overall total to nearly 540,000. Over 500 of the new records relate to Irish history, with 236 covering the history of London, including information on recently completed theses on London history provided by the Centre for Metropolitan History.

Included in this update is a new “Metrics” feature, which offers a new way of viewing the data contained in the Bibliography. Users can quickly see how the publications of a particular author are distributed by subject or over time, for example; similar analyses are available for particular journals or particular subjects. The version available at the moment is a beta version, devised by Brepols on the basis of the metrics component of the International Medieval Bibliography. You can learn more on our FAQ page. We welcome feedback and comment using our feedback form, or by email.

We plan to release the next update in February 2014. May we remind you that, if you sign up for email alerts on subjects that interest you, you will receive an email as soon as BBIH is updated with records that match your registered searches? A video tutorial on email alerts is available.

Peter Salt on RCHME, Cambridgeshire

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British History Online has now completed its digitisation of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England series; all volumes are now freely available to read online. The following post originally appeared on our British History Online blog.

Of the last volumes published, three related to Cambridgeshire. Our own Cambridgeshire man, Peter Salt, Editor of the Bibliography of British and Irish History, kindly agreed to write a blog post about the City of Cambridge volume. Peter writes:


When the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments’ inventory of the city of Cambridge was published in 1959 in two substantial volumes with a separate container of plans,1 they were priced at the princely sum of five guineas (£5.25).  They were out of print by the time that I paid £52.00 for my copy about 25 years later.  I was conscious at the time that this was virtually ten times the original selling price but I reasoned to myself that they would never be cheaper.  So I greet the appearance of the Cambridge inventory in British History Online with mixed feelings – freely accessible online publication, to the high standards associated with British History Online, is a great boon to scholarship but may reduce demand for the printed volumes and therefore may have devalued my copy!
 
Naturally, College and University buildings fill most of the Cambridge inventory.  However, it also covers the growth of the town.  Furthermore, from 1946 the Commissioners were empowered not only to make an inventory of ‘Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions’ predating the eighteenth century, as had been done before World War II, but also to describe ‘such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to’ 1714 ‘as may seem in your discretion to be worthy of mention’.2  In the Cambridge inventory, as in the preceding one covering Dorset, this resulted in the adoption of an 1850 cut-off date3and, for buildings that could be identified as being earlier than 1850, little or no selection seems to have been applied in practice.  Furthermore, as the preface observed, ‘the first half of the 19th century’ was ‘a period of notable urban development in Cambridge’.4  The result was that the volumes cover not only internationally known monuments such as King’s College Chapel, but also include some quite modest terraced houses – so modest, indeed, as to include the house in which I lived from 1991 to 2005, which had been built (it was suggested) for the “outside staff” of the larger houses in the same development.5



Such houses were sometimes recorded with almost as much care as the major monuments – the development of which my house formed a part is illustrated by a layout diagram and by internal plans of representative houses, the latter presented alongside plans of similar houses to facilitate comparison.  Even so, there were times when the surveyors were virtually unable to find anything to say: after they had diplomatically described early nineteenth-century houses in Brunswick Walk as ‘pleasant in their simplicity and lack of ostentation’, they were reduced to reporting that ‘Willow Place and Causeway Passage … are even less distinguished than the foregoing’.6 Nonetheless, the recording and comparison of small terraced houses that were then little more than one hundred years old would have been ground-breaking at the time.

 
In some cases the survey recorded buildings that were soon to be demolished.  Indeed, Willow Place and Causeway Passage have largely vanished.  That small late-Georgian terraced houses should fall victim to 1960s and 1970s improvements is not surprising (they had been assessed in 1950 as “fourth class” and although, if they had lasted a few years longer, they might well have been refurbished and extended as desirable pieds à terre, it has to be said that our favourable view of Georgian domestic architecture rests in part on the destruction of its meanest specimens).  Perhaps more surprising in a town that trades on its “heritage” is the loss of the ‘good brick front of 1727′ belonging to the Central Hotel on Peas Hill, where Pepys was supposed to have ‘drank pretty hard’ in 1660, and one of the secular buildings deemed by the Commissioners to be ‘especially worthy of preservation’,7 but replaced in 1960-2 by a hostel for King’s College.
 
As Professor Chris Dyer observed in his post in this blog on the Northamptonshire volumes, the Royal Commission’s post-war inventory volumes ‘marked a high point’ in its work that was not sustained.  Since 1984 the Commission and English Heritage (into which the Commission was incorporated in 1999) have continued to record and to analyze, but have published the results in thematic volumes, rather than in parish by parish (or town by town) inventories.  Theforeword to the last inventory volume, published in 1984, admitted that ‘the creation of an adequately researched and assessed inventory of England’s archaeological and architectural heritage is now accepted … as a complex and infinite task’ (my emphasis).  Indeed, what seems ‘adequately researched and assessed’ to one generation may disappoint the next one.  Now that Causeway Passage has vanished from the map we might well wish that the inventory had gone into a bit more detail.  And, just as 1714 came to seem, after World War II, too remote an end date for the survey, resulting in an expansion of the Commissioners’ remit, the 1850 cut off chosen for the Cambridge volumes will seem too remote to those who want to study Cambridge’s later nineteenth-century growth.  In practice, though, we must be grateful for what was achieved, and (notwithstanding the potential decline in the value of my printed copy) the online publication of the inventories is very much to be welcomed.


All footnote references are to the city of Cambridge inventory. The volumes were continuously paginated and are treated as a single entity by British History Online.

Bibliography of British and Irish History updated

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BBIH has been updated with 5,831 new records, bringing the overall total to over 534,000. Nearly 3,600 of the new records describe books and articles published in 2012-13; over 700 of them relate to Irish history and 266 of them concern the history of London.

We are delighted to welcome two new academic section editors to our team: Dr Julie Barrau, of the University of East Anglia, editor for England, 1066-1500, and Dr Marie Coleman, of Queen’s University Belfast, editor for Ireland since 1800. Dr Barrau succeeds the long-serving Professor Elisabeth Van Houts, for whose contribution to BBIH we are very grateful. Dr Coleman’s appointment reflects our decision to divide responsibility for Ireland since 1640 into two sections, in the light of the increasing number of publications on Irish history that we are handling. A full list of section editors is available here.

We are sorry that links from the detailed record display to the British Library Direct ordering service no longer lead to a completed order form for the appropriate article. Instead, you are now taken to the home page of the new British Library Document Supply Service, where you need to search again for the article that you wish to order. Also, we regret that the presence of the link is no longer a reliable guide to the availability of the article through British Library Document Supply. We are discussing with the British Library how our links can be improved and we hope to be able to offer better links to British Library document ordering in our next update.

We plan to publish the next update in October. If you register for email alerts on searches of interest to you, you will receive an email as soon as the bibliography is updated with records that match your registered searches. A video tutorial on email alerts is available.

Bibliography of British and Irish History updated

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BBIH has been updated with 4,782 new records, bringing the overall total to nearly 530,000. Nearly half of the new records cover publications of 2012-13; over 500 of them concern the history of Ireland and the Irish, and just over 200 deal with the history of London.

The next update should appear in June. You can keep informed of new records relating to your areas of interest by using the ealerts feature.

Bibliography of British and Irish History updated

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An update to the Bibliography of British and Irish History was released on 9 October, containing 5,500 new records, of which over 3,500 deal with publications of 2011-12. Nearly 600 of the new records deal with the history of Ireland (or with Anglo-Irish relations and the Irish Diaspora) and 277 of them relate to the history of London, including information on recently completed theses on London history kindly provided by the Centre for Metropolitan History.

Reduced Bibliography of British and Irish History subscription rates for Friends of the IHR and Fellows and Members of the RHS

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We are very pleased to announce reduced subscription rates for Friends of the Institute of Historical Research and for Fellows and Members of the Royal Historical Society, representing a very substantial discount on the normal individual subscription rate (and a significant enhancement to the benefits of becoming a Friend of the IHR or joining the RHS for those who do not already have access to the Bibliography). We hope that this offer will make the Bibliography more accessible to retired academics and independent scholars. Subscriptions are currently available for the calendar year 2013 but, for those who reply early, subscriptions will commence on 1 October 2012 at no extra cost. Free trails are available until 15 July. For more information about the offer, Friends of the IHR should email the Development Office (or telephone +44 (0)207 862 8791/8764); RHS Fellows and Members should email the RHS office. You can find out about becoming a Friend of the IHR here and there is information about membership of the RHS here.