Online Resources: British History

by | Nov 27, 2020 | Teaching Portal: Online Resources | 0 comments

Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH)

This resource allows researchers and scholars to access and search through an online database containing the latest publication information on a variety of history topics related to British and Irish history. The BBIH is a subscription access database which can normally be accessed through university institutions and some public libraries and is updated three times a year with the latest publication information. The database links copies of articles and books to library catalogues and online resources where researchers can access the material.


Black British History (BBH)

This resource is an online platform which identifies new research into the history of people of African origin or descent in the UK, through the promotion of its Black British History Experts Database of academic and independent researchers and archivists. The website provides researchers with information on the latest developments in Black British history in a wide variety of settings including the media, the classroom and lecture hall (especially how and why it should be taught in the curriculum), museums and galleries, and activities through Black British History at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.


British Academic Spoken English (BASE) and BASE Plus Collections

The resource is an online platform in which researchers can access 160 lectures and 40 seminars recorded in a variety of academic departments, which were video-recorded at the University of Warwick and audio-recorded at the University of Reading between 2000 and 2005. Holdings are distributed across four broad disciplinary groups, each represented by 40 lectures and 10 seminars. These groups include: Arts and Humanities, Social Studies and Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life and Medical Sciences. The corpus has been deposited in the Oxford Text Archive and is catalogued by the Arts and Humanities Data Service, which can be downloaded once prior approval has been given.


British Archaeology at the Ashmolean Museum: Rationalisation and Enhancement of the Historic Collection

This resource provides researchers with access to an online database of the British Archaeological collections held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Researchers interested in archaeology can go through digitised collections within the database, and can search by object name, description, materials and techniques, dating, and excavator or field collector. Additionally, they can view the collections on the website:


British Book Trade Index (BBTI)

This resource provides researchers who are interested in book history and book production access to an online index, which gives brief biographical and trade details of all those who worked in the English and Welsh book trades up to 1851. Researchers can access information on printers, publishers, booksellers, and other related trades, such as stationers, papermakers, engravers, auctioneers, ink-makers, and sellers of medicine.


British History Online (BHO)

This resource provides researchers interested in British history with access to primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, focused predominantly on the period 1300-1800. This includes the Calendars of State Papers, Victoria County History and the parliamentary journals of the Houses of Parliament. Nearly all the sources on the website are freely accessible, and the resources are regularly updated.


Broadside Ballads Online

The resource is a database of English printed ballad-sheets produced between the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries, which is linked to other resources for the study of the English ballad tradition. Researchers can browse through a database of ballads and can search by subject, theme, date, printer, publisher, collections, imprints, illustrations, tunes, and performers.


Catalogue of British Town Maps (CBTM)

This resource is an online catalogue of historic British town maps. The website provides researchers with the opportunity to locates town maps that survive in UK public archives and libraries. The website presents the details and images of almost 8,000 maps, and researchers can download images of the maps.


Cause Papers in the Diocesan Courts of the Archbishopric of York

The resource is an online catalogue of over 14,000 cause papers relating to cases heard between 1300 and 1858 in the Church Courts in the Diocese of York. The website was designed to make these documents accessible to family and local historians, as well as scholars interested in economic, social, and legal history.


Clergy of the Church of England Database (CCEd)

This resource provides researchers with the ability to search through its online database to access information regarding the careers of all clergymen of the Church of England between 1540 and 1835. The database charts the career events of over 155,000 individual clerics and schoolteachers, based on c. 1.5 million evidence records consulted from all 27 dioceses in England and Wales, and one short-lived diocese in Westminster.


Dictionary of Scottish Architects (DSA)

The resource is an online database which provides researchers with the biographical information and job lists for all architects known to have worked in Scotland during the period 1660-1980. This includes principals, assistants, and apprentices. Researchers can search by name, town and district, county and city, and country, and are provided with biographical details about the architects. Additionally, researchers can also read essays which provide overviews about the architectural professions in Scotland and the developments in architectural history.


Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL)

This is a resource for researchers to use for work on the Scots language and lexicography. The website comprises of all 22 volumes of the dictionaries A Dictionary of Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary, as well as the 2005 supplement to the Scottish National Dictionary. Researchers can search by word and narrow the timeframe to before-1700 and post-1700. The website additionally provides information on the Scots language, its usage, and history.


GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons

This resource enables researchers to search through an online database of manuscript sermons from the British Isles and North America, 1530-1715. Researchers can search for sermons by people, sermons, sermons reports, bible books, and repositories, and the database is regularly updated.


Glasgow University Emblem Website

The resource enables researchers to use to search through Glasgow University’s Stirling Maxwell Collection of Emblem Books. Emblems are symbolic pictures with accompanying text, which were developed in the sixteenth century and enjoyed an enormous popularity for over 200 years, when several thousand emblem books issued from printing presses throughout Europe. Emblems will be of interest to researchers and scholars interested in painting, decorative arts, literature, illustrated books, iconography, social, and cultural history.


Historical Thesaurus of English

The resource charts the development of meaning and its evolution through the varied vocabulary of the English language. The online thesaurus consists of almost every recorded word in English from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day, and words are arranged into detailed hierarches of meaning. Researchers can view “Treemaps”, which visually represent English words in specific themed groupings; “lexicalization sparklines”, which show variation of language over time by time period; and “heatmaps”, which depict the hot spots of when vocabularies and words increased over time.


History of Parliament Online

This resource provides researchers with searchable information regarding parliamentary politics in the history of England, and later Britain. The website consists of detailed studies of elections and electoral politics in each constituency, and it contains biographical, constituency, and introductory survey articles published in The History of Parliament series.


Integrating Content with Context for Archives (LEADERS)

This resource provides scholars with a downloadable toolkit that “enables the creation of an online environment” to present archival source materials. The project was originally entitled Linking EAD to Electronically Retrievable Sources (LEADERS), which utilised three XML encoding systems as a basis for developing a generic toolset: Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for finding aids, Encoded Archival Context (EAC) for authority records, and the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) for transcripts. The toolkit offers archivists the means to provide their users with innovative ways to access and analyse archival material within its context.


Jewish Heritage UK

This resource holds information on the Jewish Heritage UK organisation which is specifically tasked with professionally protecting the architectural heritage of the British Jewish community. Interested members of the public and scholars can access information related to how Jewish Heritage UK protects British Jewry’s material cultural heritage, which covers synagogues and cemeteries, as well as moveable property, including artefacts, archives, and ritual objects. The website includes information on building survey listings, heritage open days, and a list of publications.


Key to English Place-Names (KEPN)

This resource provides researchers with an up-to-date interactive guide “to the interpretation of the names of England’s cities, towns and villages”, which often refer to individuals, social and administrative, and the natural landscape dating back centuries. The website showcases the history behind English places-names and how they were perceived, and the resource bases its information on county-boundaries that stood before local government reorganisation in 1974. Researchers can use an interactive digital map as a tool to see the location of the place-name and read a brief description about the origin of its name through Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and Middle English languages. Additionally, the map can be downloaded via an iPhone app, while an Android version is currently being created.


Legacies of British Slave Ownership

This resource provides researchers with access to an online database to search the legacy of British slave ownership in the early modern period. The website builds upon the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, which traced the impact of slave ownership on the formation of modern Britain, and the Structure and Significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833 project, which looked at the structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership. Researchers can browse through the database to look for information on the legacies of slave ownership, the plantations and estates in the British Caribbean, and browse through digital maps to local these estates, including Jamaica, Barbados, and Grenada.


Resources for teachers in HumBox

This resource enables teachers and humanities scholars to share their teaching materials on one central online platform. The intention of the website is to publish a store “good quality humanities resources” online, including teaching handouts, teaching exercises, podcasts, and videos, which can be downloaded for free and shared among teachers and the humanities community. This also offers the opportunity for humanities specialists to share their teaching materials and collaborate with others to peer review and enhance existing resources.


Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM UK)

This resource hosts an online database in which researchers and music scholars can search for information relating to pre-1850 music sources preserved in libraries and archives in the UK. The database includes music manuscripts from national, public and academic libraries, county and city record offices, cathedral and chapel libraries and some private collections. The RISM UK’s records on 16th-century printed anthologies are digitised as part of the Early Music Online project with Royal Holloway and can be searched in the British Library catalogue.


Royal Society: Science in the Making

This resource provides researchers interested in science and the history of science to discover and use digitised material related to the Royal Society journals. The journals dated from 1665-1996 have been digitised to facilitate academic discussion around the history of science. Researchers can also access a selection of peer-reviewed articles, select digital images and manuscripts access, and teaching resources.


The Reading Experience Database (RED), 1450-1945

The resource is an open access database and research project housed in the English Department of the Open University. Through the database, researchers can search through over 30,0000 records of reading experiences of British subjects, both at home and abroad, and of visitors to Britain, between 1450 and 1945. This includes famous and anonymous readers across the centuries.


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