The global reach of the Bibliography of British and Irish History

[re-blogged from with kind permission of Sara Charles, Editorial Assistant, Bibliography of British and Irish History.]

“For this blog post, we wanted to present the global scope of the Bibliography.  Despite being called the Bibliography of British and Irish History, material covering the rest of the world makes up a significant proportion of our resources. Using data visualization tools, we mapped the number of resources available onto a global frame using the figures from the latest update in June 2016 and the place names listed.

The expansion of the British Empire explains the large amount of resources concerning North America, the Indian Subcontinent, Australia, South Africa, but other less obvious areas also feature prominently. Russia has 2,257 resources, China has 1,674, and Japan 876.

As expected, European relations account for a large chunk of material, with France being the highest European candidate with 9,337 resources, followed by Germany (5,222), Italy (2,808), and Spain (2,384). Interestingly, these figures highlight the close links that Britain and Ireland have had with the continent, and shows that our political and cultural relationship with Europe has continuously shaped our nation, as part of a wider historical legacy.

The resources are as diverse thematically as they are geographically; a brief search on ‘Crete’ reveals not just a selection of resources on the World War II campaign such as The Ariadne objective : the underground war to rescue Crete from the Nazis, but The man who deciphered linear B : the story of Michael Ventrisand Did Greek wine became Port? Or why institutional interventions matter (c. 1350-1780), an article exploring Cretan wine in medieval England.

Even more intriguing are the countries who have merely one resource to their name, Belarus has scraped in with the cosily titled Prince Potemkin and the Benthams, Mali has one resource called Barrow’s Boysa book about exploration in the early nineteenth century, and Christmas Island gets some recognition in British imperialism and Australian mini-imperialism in the 1950s

The visual representations of our resources really highlights the global reach of the BBIH, please click on the interactive links above to explore the full range of material.

Sara Charles, Editorial Assistant, Bibliography of British and Irish History.

Bibliography of British and Irish History is available to all staff and students of Oxford University and readers registered with Bodleian Libraries. It can be access from SOLO and Databases A-Z.BBIH logo

New: European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750

European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750 is a freely accessible comprehensive guide to printed works about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. It is provided by EBSCO.

European Views of the Americas - logoThe database contains more than 32,000 entries and is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. It covers the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples. There is good content from continental Europe.

The European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750 database addresses the following subjects and themes:

  • America in literature
  • Botany
  • British in America
  • Catholic Church
  • Commerce
  • Discoveries
  • Dutch in America
  • Economics
  • Fisheries
  • French in America
  • Geography
  • Great Britain–Colonies
  • Indians
  • Jesuits (and other religious orders) in America
  • Law
  • Mines & mineral resources
  • Natural history
  • Navigation
  • Pirates
  • Shipping
  • Slave-trade
  • Spain–Colonies
  • Tobacco
  • Voyages around the world

You can locate material by searching in a variety of ways or browsing for publication (A-Z) or name and geographic lists of publishers, printers and booksellers.

European Views of the Americas - sample

“The database is derived from the seminal reference work, European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed in Europe Relating to the Americas, 1493-1750. Commonly known as the Alden-Landis bibliography (after the co-editors John Alden and Dennis Landis), this reference work features documents produced in Europe that make some mention of the discovery and emerging awareness of the Americas. The work is arranged in chronological order across six volumes. The database is searchable by every category of information found within the printed volumes and will be an invaluable resource for researchers interested in the subject.”, accessed 21 July 2016

You have a good choice of saving and exporting your citations with permalinks and citation assistance also provided.

Also of interest:

New: Bibliographie de l’Histoire de Belgique (BHB)

If you are looking for publications on the history of Belgium, then you will be pleased to know that the Bibliographie de l’Histoire de Belgique (BHB), indexing books, articles, and journals from 2009, is now available via SOLO and Databases A-Z+.

The free online bibliography allows you to search for authors, titles and keywords. There is also a keyword browse option.Bibliography of the History of Belgium - screenshot

For publications published between 1952 and 2008 check out the BHB pdf files at

As ever, a bibliographical database only tells you what exists and not whether it is held in Oxford. You will need to search SOLO after you have found something of interest in the BHB.

Related resource:

New: International Bibliography of Humanism and the Renaissance (IBHR)

I am pleased to report that Oxford users now have access to the online International Bibliography of Humanism and the Renaissance via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

The IBHR is an international bibliographical resource of academic publications on the Renaissance and the early modern period. It continues the printed Bibliographie internationale de l’Humanisme et de la Renaissance.

IBHR screenshotThe core of the Bibliography focuses on European history and culture that spans the 16th and 17th centuries, and encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects, ranging from religious history through to philosophy, science and the arts; and from military and political history through to social and gender studies.

IBHR includes publications on the European interactions with the wider world through exploration, colonisation, slavery and the Christian mission and extends its coverage to the modern period with the inclusion of modern hermeneutics, reception studies and the 21st-century teaching of texts written in the target period. It covers publications written in various languages such as English, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Romanian, Dutch and Japanese.

The Advanced search screen allows you to select a geographical area and academic discipline as well as limit your search to a particular century. Users of the International Medieval Bibliography and Bibliography of British and Irish History will find the interface very familiar already.

Now online until 2009: Indice histórico español (Spanish Historical Index) (IHE)

The free electronic version of the Indice histórico español (IHE) has been added to SOLO. This is great if you are researching Iberian history and are looking for critical or secondary sources.

Indice Historico Espanol - screenshotIHE is Spain’s national bibliography for historiography, indexing since 1953 the published output relating to Spanish historiography. Published monthly, it lists and describes each new book or article published in any journal which is relevant.

The searching is very basic and involves much browsing. The first stage of the magazine, currently 1 (1953) -124 (2009), is open and free.

Other historical bibliographies available in Oxford (great for literature searches!)

  • Oxford Bibliographies (medieval, Renaissance & Reformation, Atlantic history, Latin America, military history)
  • Historical Abstracts (early modern-modern, world except N America)
  • International Medieval Bibliography
  • Byzantinische Bibliographie
  • EconLit (economic history)
  • ATLA (religious & church history)
  • Index Religiosus (religious & church history)
  • Philosopher’s Index (history of ideas)

These are available online via SOLO or OxLIP+.


  • America: History & Life. Available online via SOLO or OxLIP+.
  • Handbook of Latin American Studies. Available online via SOLO or OxLIP+.


  • Bibliography of Asian Studies. Available online via SOLO or OxLIP+.


  • Österreichische historische Bibliographie. 1967-. Available online.


  • Dansk Historisk Bibliografi. 1990- available online.


  • Répertoire bibliographique de l’histoire de France. 1920-31.
  • Bibliographie annuelle de l’histoire de France. 1953-.


  • Jahresberichte der Geschichtswissenschaft. 1880-1916
  • Jahresberichte der deutschen Geschichte. 1918-1924
  • Jahresberichte für deutsche Geschichte. (Leipzig, 1927-). 1974- available online
  • Historische Bibliographie. 1986-. 1990- available online

Great Britain & Ireland

  • Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH). Available online via SOLO or OxLIP+.


  • Bibliografia Storica Nazionale. 1939-99.  2000- available online.

Middle East & Islamic world

  • Index Islamicus. Available online via SOLO or OxLIP+.


  • De Digitale Bibliografie Nederlandse Geschiedenis. Available online.


  • Indice histórico español. 1953-. Available online upto v.123 (2012).


  • Bibliographie der Schweizergeschichte. 1913-. 1999- available online.

European Historical Bibliographies - screenshotSee also the

European Historical Bibliographies project.

WISER: courses for Historians, US Historians and Medievalists, Week 3

During Week 3 Bodleian Libraries will be a hosting a series of WISER events designed to help Oxford historians get the most out of the resources available to them. Sessions will provide useful tips and demonstrations, offering students and researchers opportunities to explore sources including ebooks, bibliographical databases, key online collections and web portals.

On Monday 12th May, ‘Online Resources for Historians‘ will offer a general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources available for all periods of British and Western European history. Aside from an exploration of bibliographical/reference research aids and databases, presenters will provide an insight to ebooks, ejournals, web portals and collections of online primary source materials. Students, researchers and anyone interested in the growing availability of online resources will benefit from this session. Book your place.

Also on Monday 12th May, ‘Sources for US History‘ will deliver an introduction to key information sources and finding tools for the study of colonial America and US History until 1990. For further details on this session, please see earlier blog post, or book your place.

On Friday 16th May, ‘Sources for Medievalists‘ will provide an overview of a range of e-resources relevant to British and Western European medieval studies. The session will include information on bibliographical databases, web portals and collections of online primary source materials including Greek/Latin texts, Anglo-Saxon sources, chronicles, charters and literary works. The material presented will be of use not only to students, but also researchers and academics with an interest in this area. Book your place.

If you would like to attend any of these WISER sessions, please book your place using the links provided. For further details, see the posters below.

WISER Online Resources poster

WISER US history posterWISER Medievalist Poster



New: Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fair Catalogues (1594-1860)

Frankfurter and Leipzig book fair catalogues - screenshotOxford readers now have access to the online Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fair Catalogues via SOLO and Databases A-Z. It has the digitized versions (from microfilm) of the catalogues for the Frankfurt and Leipzig book fairs, representing an almost complete run from 1594 to 1860. As well as a historical bibliographical tool relevant to those researching early modern and 19th century history, history of science and medicine, etc. it is also a useful primary source for the history of scholarship, of literature, of publishing and of the intellectual development of central Europe.

“Book-trade catalogues, generally referred to as book fair catalogues, offer a unique overview of German – and in many respects European – book production over a period of nearly 300 years (1594-1860). This form of information, originally intended for the contemporary book trade, today forms an important and comprehensive historical bibliography of the period.

Developed in the 16th century, the book fair catalogues for the Spring or Easter and Autumn or Michaelmas Fairs provided the widest possible overview of the books on offer during this period. Only when other sources of information began to take their place did they cease publication in 1860.”

The following fair catalogues are included:

  • Catalogus universalis, hoc est designatio omnium librorum, qui hisce nundinis … Francofurtensibus & Lipsiensibus anno [1594-1691]
  • Catalogus universalis, sive designatio omnium librorum, qui hisce nundinis … Francofurtensibus & Lipsiensibus anni [1692-1711]
  • Catalogus universalis sive designatio eorum librorum, qui hisce nundinis vernalibus Francofurtensibus et Lipsiensibus anni [1712-1732]
  • Catalogus universalis, oder Verzeichniß derer Bücher, welche in der Frankfurter und Leipziger Michael-Messe entweder ganz neu gedruckt oder sonsten verbessert wieder aufgeleget worden sind  [1733-1759]
  • Allgemeines Verzeichnis der Bücher, welche von Ostern bis Michaelis von Michaelis bis Ostern neu gedruckt oder aufgelegt worden sind [1760-1850]
  • Messkatalog [1850-1854]
  • Bibliographisches Jahrbuch für den deutschen Buch-, Kunst- und Landkarten-Handel [1854-1860]

The book details are organised by topic. You can download individual pages or sections from the online catalogues are pdfs.

Access to Oxford University Press materials increased

Oxford-University-PressHere is some great news for historians. The Bodleian Libraries have signed a new agreement with Oxford University Press (OUP), to significantly increase reader access to all current OUP online content.

Readers can also access over 20,000 e-books, plus extra databases; a considerable increase from the amount of content previously accessible, which was selected on a case-by-case basis by subject librarians. See the full Bodleian news announcement.

Among the new collections fully available are Oxford Scholarship Online, the British Academy Publications and the Oxford Language Dictionaries. The full collections in Oxford Handbooks Online and Oxford Bibliographies Online are also accessible. Oxford Scholarship Online now also includes the ebooks of 14 partner university presses, such as Chicago and Yale.

Links to the e-books and databases can be found in SOLO and OxLIP+.

New additions of interest to historians:

British Academy Publications Online

The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science

Oxford Constitutions of the World

Oxford Handbooks Online

  • The Oxford Handbook of Fascism
  • The Oxford Handbook of Latin American History
  • The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History
  • The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History
  • The Oxford Handbook of Modern Scottish History
  • The Oxford Handbook of Oral History
  • The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History
  • The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas
  • The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution
  • The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Régime
  • The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World: 1450-1850
  • The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War
  • The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine
  • The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism
  • The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America
  • The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe
  • The Oxford Handbook of World History

Enjoy the bonanza and get in touch with library staff if you have any questions.


New: Index Religiosus: International Bibliography of Theology, Church History and Religious Studies

Oxford users now have access to the online Index Religiosus: International Bibliography of Theology, Church History and Religious Studies via SOLO or OxLIP+. The new bibliography starts on the basis of two existing bibliographies: the bibliography of the Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique (RHE) and the Elenchus Bibliographicus (EB) from the journal Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses.

Index Religiosus - searchIndex Religiosus is a reference bibliography for academic publications in Theology, Religious Studies and Church History. It covers publications written in various European languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, etc.).

It is international in scope, covering publications relating to religious studies in Africa, Americas, Australasia and Middle East to Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia and Russia. All periods are covered from Antiquity to 20th century.

All aspects of Church History are also widely covered: Institutions, Orders, Congregations, Influential Figures, Hagiography, Political, Social and Economic History, Archaeology, Art History, Music, Architecture, Relations with Islam and Judaism, etc.).

It covers a full range of disciplines in Theology and Canon Law: History of Theology, History of Religions, Old and New Testaments, Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology, Sacramentology and Liturgy, Moral and Pastoral Theology, and Canon Law.

Index Religiosus - Disciplines









From January 2014 onwards, the printed version of the bibliography of the Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique and the Elenchus Bibliographicus will no longer be available. These printed bibliographies will be replaced by the Index Religiosus.

Other bibliographical datatbaseS available in Oxford

Databases with sources for church history

Useful reference works

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies – now available

OBO - LAS logoIf you are working on Latin American history and you want to know which key books, journals, sources etc. to use, then you will be delighted to know that Oxford Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies is available to Oxford users via SOLO or OxLIP+.

Oxford Bibliographies Online “offers more than other bibliography initiatives on- and offline by providing expert commentary to help users find, negotiate, and assess the large amount of information readily available to them. It facilitates research in a way that other guides cannot by providing direct links to online library catalogs and other online resources. Organizing the resource around discrete subject entries will allow for quick and easy navigation that users expect when working on screen.”

A series of bibliographical review essays focus on aspects of Latin American studies, e.g. Black Experience in Colonial Latin America. In each review essay, publications are arranged in categories and bibliographical details of suggested readings listed. Categories are for instance General Overview, Primary sources & translations, and some thematic arrangement.

“Though the scholarly study of Latin America, a region of 20 countries and over 569 million people, is not new, the bringing together of various disciplinary approaches according to a single geographic region represents a fairly recent shift. Latin American studies includes a vast range of disciplinary perspectives, including history, sociology, economics, anthropology, and political science. Area studies in general have proliferated in the latter half of the twentieth century and Latin American studies in particular has been propelled forward as a distinct field of study by major international changes, such as the end of the Cold War.”

Looking for more online bibliographies

There are many more online bibliographies available in Oxford. Key ones are:

Other modules in the Oxford Bibliographies Online series are:

OBO Medieval Studies: “The field of Medieval Studies explores European and Mediterranean civilization from the 4th to the 15th centuries. This period, which has a critical importance for the understanding of Western culture, can best be approached through a combination of several disciplines from history to English literature. “

OBO Reformation and Renaissance: “The period of the Renaissance and Reformation, which spans roughly from the 14th through 17th centuries, is rich in history and culture. The field of Renaissance and Reformation studies, which has a critical importance for the understanding of Western culture, can best be approached through a combination of several disciplines including history, the arts, and literature.”

OBO Atlantic History:  “The study of Atlantic History examines the transnational interconnections between Europe, North America, South America, and Africa, particularly in the early modern and colonial period. Through this lens, a wide range of national perspectives must be considered. Thus, there are consistently new discoveries, new interpretations, and new theoretical ideas to take into account.”

OBO Military History: “The study of military history has evolved into a multidisciplinary effort to go beyond the history of military operations to consider broader political, cultural, and social questions. It spans across several disciplines and genres, including sociology and political science, biography, war and battle narratives, the history of technology, foreign affairs and international relations, and various national histories. From ancient military history to contemporary studies of international conflict, a great deal of this work has moved online with the most recent scholarship, research, and statistics appearing in online databases and often only discoverable through online search tools.”

HFL Delicious lists also many free and specialists online bibliographies.