This blog post was written by Jenny Lelkes-Rarugal, Editor for the Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH).

What’s new in BBIH?  

The October 2022 update to the Bibliography of British and Irish History adds 3154 new publications. The new content includes books, journal articles, book chapters and edited collections covering all areas of British and Irish history, from 55 BCE to the present day.   

These updates bring the total number of BBIH records to 640,440. The October 2022 update includes:   

  • 2578 titles that were published in 2020-2022   
  • 165 publications relating to Scottish history   
  • 133 publications about the history of Wales   
  • 575 publications focusing on Irish history, including 52 publications focusing on Northern Ireland   
  • 604 new records for ‘Imperial and Commonwealth’, of which 53 records refer to the histories of colonial Caribbean nations and 97 records refer to histories of colonial America 

This update also brings some changes to BBIH’s subject tree: 

  • We have given more prominence to the histories of women, urban life and emotions by making ‘Women’, ‘Urban history’ and ‘Emotions and mental states’ top-level search terms in the subject tree. You will find the first two search terms between ‘Demographic and environmental history’ and ‘Social history’, with the third positioned directly after ‘Social history’. 
  • Other topics replaces the ‘Other major themes’ and ‘Miscellaneous’ categories. This can now be found at the end of the list of top-level search terms. 
  • We have also added a number of new subject terms including: ‘Bisexuality’, ‘Body language’, ‘Coastal environment’ and ‘Race relations policy’. 
BBIH subject tree. Source: Brepols

BBIH’s hierarchical subject tree offers a powerful way of searching by subject because it uses terminology systematically applied to records by BBIH’s editors: your results will not depend on the appearance of words in titles or in keywords provided by authors. And, when you select a term from the tree, your results include records that are indexed using subjects further down the hierarchy – for example, when you search for ‘Women’, the term ‘Feminism’ is automatically included.  Learn more about the subject tree here.  

You can learn more about using BBIH by visiting our page of online tutorials, which include: 

  • The basics of searching, including how to use the subject tree 
  • How to use your results 
  • How to keep up-to-date with the latest published research in your field or manage your reference lists or bibliographies 
  • Behind-the-scenes guide to how BBIH is compiled. 

Short video guides are designed for: 

  • New undergraduates and those planning and researching a final year dissertation 
  • MA and PhD students for whom BBIH is essential for writing a literature review and studying secondary fields of interest. 

Lecturers, teachers and librarians will find it helpful that the Bibliography’s online tutorials can all be embedded in a virtual learning environment (VLE). Presentations are also available here to promote the Bibliography to your students and staff.  

In memory: Professor Antoine Capet 

In June 2022 BBIH received the sad news of the death of Professor Antoine Capet, section editor for Britain, 1914-present. Antoine had been a loyal and very active section editor since 1999 and he will be much missed. The Royal Historical Society (RHS) published a brief appreciation here.  

In succession to Professor Capet, Ewan Lawry has been appointed as the section editor for Britain, 1914-1960, with Dr Andrew McTominey appointed as the section editor for Britain 1960-present. 

Welcome to new BBIH section editors 

A number of long-standing section editors, some of whom, like Professor Capet, worked on the printed bibliographies that preceded the online publication of BBIH, stepped down at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year: 

  • Dr Stanley Ireland, section editor for Roman Britain since 1993, has been succeeded by Dr Giacomo Savani 
  • Dr Kathryn Rix section, editor for Britain, 1815-1914 since 2001, has been succeeded by Edmund Lyon 
  • Dr Karen Stöber, section editor for Medieval Wales since 2001, has been succeeded by Dr Ben Guy 
  • Professor Trevor Burnard, section editor for Empire to 1783 since 2003, has been succeeded by Dr Tristan Griffin

The RHS would like to thank Stanley, Kathryn, Karen and Trevor for your many years of sustained service to the BBIH. The Institute of Historical Research (IHR), RHS, Brepols and the wider community of historians are all extremely grateful for the many hours of work put into helping the BBIH maintain its high editorial standards. 

Professor Roey Sweet, Academic Director, representing the RHS

On behalf of the IHR and its diverse communities of scholarship, I would like to thank Stanley, Kathryn, Karen and Trevor for all their work as BBIH section editors over many years. Their commitment to the project has been very much appreciated and valued by colleagues in the discipline.  

Claire Langhamer, Director of the IHR 

The IHR, RHS and Brepols would also like to welcome all the new section editors, who will be introducing themselves and their research over the coming months. 

Black British History and BBIH 

October is Black History Month in the UK. The Bibliography lists over 7700 resources for ethnicity, including Black history in Britain and in the British empire, with the October 2022 update containing 122 new publications

The Bibliography’s editors and Brepols also updated the Black British history online reading list, which can be viewed online here. The full reading list contains 460 books, articles and chapters published between 2015 and 2022.  

About the Bibliography of British and Irish History   

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

It’s an essential resource for teaching and research, providing up-to-date information (and links) on 640,440 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, date and form of publication, chronology, 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.