We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Taylor of the University of Reading has taken over as Academic Editor of BBIH. His research focuses on the political and religious history of England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and his work with online databases has included The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 and British State Prayers, Fasts and Thanksgivings, 1540s to 1940s; he also worked on the Royal Historical Society Annual Bibliographies of British and Irish History and on the Royal Historical Society Bibliography on CD-ROM which formed the foundation of the present database. Our previous Academic Editor, Dr Ian Archer, worked on the Bibliography for eleven years, and oversaw both the launch of the online Royal Historical Society Bibliography in 2002 and the transition to the new Bibliography of British and Irish History at the end of 2009. He will continue to act as a Literary Director of the RHS, and also as the early modern Section Editor of the Bibliography.
An update to the Bibliography of British and Irish History was released today. It includes over 5,000 new records, bringing the total number of records to 494,000. There are also some minor improvements to the online interface, and we are pleased to welcome two new section editors, Dr Beth Hartland and Dr Matthew Kelly, to our team. Please see our news page for more information.
World War II Quarterly has changed its name to Global War Studies: The Journal for the Study of Warfare and Weapons, 1919-1945. The latest issue contains an historiographical survey of the military aspects of Winston Churchill’s career and a section entitled New Research on the British Empire and the Second WorldWar edited by Ashely Jackson which includes articles on Anglo-American strategy, Anglo-Irish relations and neutrality, and the contribution of the West Indies to the war effort. Previous articles have included British appeasement policy and the military disaster in 1940 by Peter Neville and The BEF in Belgium and France, 10 May – 4 June 1940 by Julian Thompson.
Manchester University Press’s latest book in their Studies in Imperialism series is entitled Chocolate, women and empire: a social and cultural history by Emma Robertson. Surprisingly the first English book on chocolate was published in 1662 – The Indian nectar, or, a discourse concerning chocolata by physician Henry Stubbe. The book is discussed in C. F. Main, Henry Stubbe and the firs English book on chocolate, Journal of the Rutgers University Library, 23, 1960, p. 33-47. However, Thomas Gage devoted an entire chapter to chocolate in his Travail by sea and land, or, a new survey of the West Indias (1648) discussed in Edmund Campos, Thomas Gage and the English colonial encounter with chocolate, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 39:1, 2009, p. 183-200. Lowell Satre’s book Chocolate on trial: slavery politics and the ethics of business (Athens, Ohio University Press, 2005) includes chapters on Cadbury Bros v Standard Newspaper libel case and British involvement in the Portuguese chocolate trade 1910-14. The history of Cadbury is outlined inCadbury’s purple reign: the story behind chocolate’s best-loved brand (Chichester, John Wiley, 2008) by John Bradley, and its overseas investment outlined in Geoffrey Jones, Multinational chocolate: Cadbury overseas, 1918-39, Business History, 26:1, 1984, p. 59-76. Gillian Wagner discusses the Quaker families of household chocolate manufacturing firms, Fry, Rowntree, and Cadbury, and their philanthropic activities in The chocolate conscience (London, Chatto & Windus, 1987). A subject also covered by James Walvin in his The Quakers: money and morals (London, John Murray, 1997). While Mark Freeman and Jonathan Davies discuss the political involvement of the Rowntree family in A case of political philanthropy: the Rowntree family and the campaign for democratic reform, Quaker Studies, 9:1, 2004, p. 95-113. For social and gender aspects to chocolate manufacture see, Emma Robertson etal, Harmonious relations? Music at work in the Rowntree and Cadbury factories, Business History, 49:2, 2007, p. 211-34; or Robertson’s “It was just a real camaraderie thing”: socialising, socialisation and shopfloor culture at the Rowntree factory, York in Women and work culture: Britain c. 1850-1950 ed. Cowan and Jackson, p. 107-22. And to end on a sweet (!) note how about a very short 1934 film on the making of chocolates Sweets for the Sweet.
British covert involvement in the Yemeni civil war is the topic of the Radio 4 programme Document (broadcast 8/3/2010). Using sources from The National Archives it traces British policy towards Yemen detailing the involvement of Julian Amery and the prime minister Alec Douglas-Home (despite denials at the time). Comments from political officers in the Aden Protectorate, civil servants, and the mercenary Philip Horniblow (who wrote an autobiography about his time in the Middle east – Oil, sand and politics: memoirs of a Middle East doctor, mercenary and mountaineer) outline the covert action by Britain. The archival sources and oral testimony are supplemented by historians offering analysis. Sue Onslow discusses the role of Amery, an ardent imperialist and son-in-law of Harold Macmillan. Onslow is author of Julian Amery and the Suez operation in Simon Smith(ed) Reassessing Suez 1956 (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008). Clive Jones and Spencer Mawby discuss the political and imperial policy behind the action. Jones is author ofBritain and the Yemen Civil War, 1962-65 (Brighton, Sussex Academic Press, 2004) and “Where the state feared to tread”: Britain, Britons, covert action and the Yemen Civil War, 1962-1964, Intelligence and National Security, 21:5 (2006) p. 717-37. Mawby is author of The clandestine defence of empire: British special operations in Yemen, 1951-64, Intelligence and National Security, 17:3 (2002) p. 105-30. And Philip Davies of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies outlines the paramilitary support action of Britain’s intelligence services and special operations.
Feedback on the Bibliography of British and Irish History has frequently raised the question of compatibility with Zotero, the reference management extension for the Firefox web browser. We are pleased to report that our publishers, Brepols, hope to implement Zotero compatibility around summer 2010. We believe that, apart from EndNote and RefWorks (for which output formats are already provided), this is the easiest way for most users to import information from BBIH into personal bibliographies.
The Bibliography of British and Irish History (like its predecessor, the RHS Bibliography) is participating in a project to promote co-operation among bibliographies covering history in some thirteen European countries. The project’s website now contains proceedings of the conference held last month in the Hague, including contributions from projects in the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as a presentation describing the various techniques used to connect the RHS Bibliography to other resources on the web which have been continued and expanded in BBIH.
The new Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH), which will replace the RHS Bibliography and London’s Past Online from 1 January 2010, has been updated. There are 3,000 additional titles and some problems with the geographical and subject indexing of the previous version have been corrected. Anyone may use the new BBIH for free until the end of 31 December 2009: for details see the RHS Bibliography news page.