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 55BCE to 2021.
The Bibliography defines British and Irish history very broadly. It covers the regional and local histories of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; as well as the global histories of Britain’s and Ireland’s relations overseas including the British Empire (including the American Colonies) and the Commonwealth. BBIH is therefore particularly strong on the histories of race, empire and migration.
BBIH is an essential resource for research and teaching, providing up-to-date information (and links) on nearly 630,000 history books, articles, chapters, edited collections and theses published from the early 1900s to 2021. New records are added to the Bibliography in three annual updates.
What makes the Bibliography of British and Irish History special?
BBIH is a curated research resource created by historians for historians: academic advisers and BBIH editors identify which publications to include and then add extensive subject information.
For BBIH users, this enables them to:
- Perform powerful searches by title, author, chronology, date and form of publication, historical topic and geographical region to find resources on their research topic. BBIH also offers a custom search engine (known as a subject tree) that recommends the best search terms to use to find the most relevant results. For more information about using BBIH’s subject tree, see the online tutorial video here.
- Trust that they are using accurate and reliable sources. BBIH is more comprehensive than other online resources and much more reliable than searching the open web for secondary materials.
History Day 2021
For History Day 2021, the Bibliography’s editors and Brepols (BBIH’s publisher) have created a list of BBIH records relating to this year’s theme: environmental history. The reading list can be found here and offers 575 recent publications focusing on attitudes to nature and the environment. These books, articles and chapters were published between 2016 and 2021. Our coverage of recently published titles is ongoing, and further records will be added in future updates of the Bibliography.
Accessing journal articles and ebooks from the History Day 2021 online reading list
BBIH is a research and publishing project of the UK’s Institute of Historical Research and Royal Historical Society and the publisher Brepols. Full access to BBIH’s 630,000 records is via subscription: many UK, Irish and international university and research libraries subscribe and provide full access to members. If your institution does not have a subscription, individual subscriptions for personal use are also available.
In the History Day 2021 online reading list, records for journal articles may include a ‘Full text’ link.
This link will take you to the abstract of the article via the publisher’s website. If you have access to a library that subscribes to the journal, you’ll then be able to go straight to the full text (you may need to log-on to your institutional library).
Some books also have ‘Full text’ links: these connect to ebook or free Open Access versions of the work where they’ve been made available by the publisher.
BBIH online tutorial videos
You can learn more about using BBIH by visiting our page of online tutorials, which include:
- The basics for searching
- 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.
These short tutorial videos have been designed by the Bibliography’s editors to help:
- New history undergraduates
- Those planning and researching a final year dissertation
- Masters and PhD students for whom BBIH is essential for writing a literature review and studying secondary fields of interest.
For lecturers, teachers and librarians, there are also tutorial videos 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.
Other BBIH online reading lists
Since 2020, the Bibliography’s editors have produced the following online reading lists drawn from publications contained within BBIH:
- Researching Black British History – this online reading list highlights publications relating to Black British History published between 2010 and 2020.
- Researching LGBTQ+ History – this online reading list highlights publications relating to LGBTQ+ history published between 2010 and 2020.
- Researching infectious and contagious diseases – this online reading list highlights publications relating to infectious and contagious diseases published in BBIH, Brepols Medieval and Early Modern Bibliographies and L’Année philologique (all published by Brepols).