BBIH editors spend a great deal of time checking new publications across a wide range of historical subject areas. This gives them an excellent insight to shifts in publishing and the emergence of new trends in historical research.

Working at the Bibliography of British and Irish History and indexing records all day gives us an opportunity to notice trends in publishing.

Since our February update, one subject heading that seems to be increasing steadily in use is ‘disability’. As you can see from the first graph, publications on this subject have risen greatly in the last 30 years. Overall, there are 610 titles indexed under disability in BBIH, and of these 570 have been published since 1990. Interesting titles among them include ‘“The work of masculine fingers”: the Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry, 1918–1955’, an article by Joseph McBrinn, and ‘Abled, Disabled, Enabled : An Attempt to Define Disability in Anglo-Saxon England‘ by Christina Lee.

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Another interesting aspect to consider is the time periods covered by the records in BBIH. The second graph shows a leap in research for the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, including titles such as the Oxford Handbook of Disability History, which includes chapters on ‘Disability and Work in South Asia and the United Kingdom’, and ‘Disability and Madness in Colonial Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand’.

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As BBIH editors, we’re also responding to these new research interests. We’ve recently added a new journal — Disability Studies Quarterly — to our regular search for new content, together with a book series by Manchester University Press on Disability History. For more information on Disability History in the IHR’s own Library collection, please see this library guide.

In other editorial developments, we’ve also added a new term — ‘commercial identity’ — to BBIH’s rich search taxonomy. There are currently BBIH records for 48 publications with this subject heading, including ‘”The Penguins Are Coming”: Brand Mascots and Utopian Mass Consumption in Interwar Britain’ by Richard Hornsey, and ‘Branding “the Bay/la Baie”: Corporate Identity, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the Burden of History in the 1960s‘ by James Opp.

These new records are just some of the 4500 titles added to BBIH in the February 2020 update. The new update brings the total number of available records to 615,000 books, articles and edited collections covering British, Irish and global history. This makes BBIH a unique resource for exploring publishing trends in history, from the early 1900s to the year 2020. Charting the development of your own research area over time, and by century, is easily done using the Bibliography’s advanced search options. Discover your own publishing trends on the BBIH now!

About the Bibliography of British and Irish History

The Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) is the largest and most comprehensive guide available to what’s been written about British and Irish history, from the early 1900s to 2019.

It’s an essential resource for research and teaching, providing up-to-date information (and links) to more than 610,000 History books, articles, chapters, edited collections and theses.

New records are added in three annual updates. These records are searchable by a wide range of facets including: title, author, chronology, date and form of publication, historical topic and geographical region.

The Bibliography is a research project of the UK’s Institute of Historical Research and the Royal Historical Society, and is published by Brepols. BBIH is a subscription service and is available remotely via university and research libraries worldwide.