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The Bibliography (BBIH) is an essential tool for the study, research, and teaching of British and Irish history. It is the largest and most comprehensive guide available to published writing on British and Irish history, covering the Roman period to the present day.

The Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) grew out of the Royal Historical Society (RHS) Bibliography of British and Irish History. Since its publication in 2010, BBIH has superseded the RHS Bibliography as an essential tool for students, teachers and researchers working on British and Irish history at every level and throughout the world.

chart: evolution of number of records in BBIH (2012-2023)

Aims & Scope

The Bibliography of British and Irish History provides online access to bibliographic data on published works about Britain, Ireland, the British empire and Commonwealth and the British and Irish worlds. It can also be used to study, teach or research interdisciplinary and emerging areas within history, such as the histories of race and ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, social class, disability, mental health, environmental history and the history of emotions.

The BBIH includes published works during all periods for which written documentation is available – from 55BC to the present. In addition to 645,000+ bibliographic records, BBIH offers links to online catalogues to help you find the items that it lists in research libraries across the world. It also provides links to the full text where available.

The Bibliography is a tool to the work of historians – it does not contain original sources, unless they have been edited and republished by historians (except for a selection of key sources published before 1901).

The Bibliography includes books, book chapters, journal articles and some history PhD theses. 800 journals and book series are currently searched systematically for material relevant to the Bibliography. Material is included irrespective of place or language of publication. The BBIH is a vital tool for any university library or independent historian and is invaluable for all levels of academic study and research, from undergraduate dissertations to the most advanced scholarship.

BBIH: view of a bibliographic record

BBIH: view of a bibliographic record

key_features Key Features

  • A database of over 645,000 records, updated three times per year, with 10,000+ references added annually
  • Covers British and Irish history and relations with the empire and Commonwealth, from 55 BC to the present
  • Includes records from partner projects: London’s Past Online and Irish History Online
  • Bibliographical data drawn from many sources, including (by kind permission of the British Library) their electronic table of contents database and the British National Bibliography
  • Incorporates books, journal articles (print and electronic), review articles, chapters in edited collections and some history PhD theses.
  • 800 journals and series regularly checked
  • Contents reviewed by specialist academics for accuracy and completeness, and prepared by professional bibliographers and historians at the Institute of Historical Research, the UK’s national centre for history
  • Indexed using a unique classification scheme that has been designed especially for historians, with 8,000 thematic search categories and the option to search by historical period
  • Several export formats (EndNote, Zotero, RefWorks, Microsoft Office Word)
  • A metrics component enables users to examine in detail trends in British and Irish history, see journal profiles (e.g. information on subjects and periods covered), and find authors’ publication profiles.
  • Compatible with OpenURL, facilitating linkage to full text
  • BBIH links to library catalogues, Jisc Library Hub Discover and WorldCat (via Google Books)
  • Learn more about people in BBIH records by using the integrated links with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the National Register of Archives and Who Was Who
  • Also including links to British History Online, Reviews in History, and H-Albion Reviews


The list of journals that are actively monitored by BBIH can be found here.

Recent Updates

The February 2023 update adds 3,145 new publications and includes:

  • 2,599 titles that were published in 2020-2023
  • 221 publications relating to Scottish history
  • 100 publications about the history of Wales
  • 275 publications focusing on Irish history, including 47 publications focusing on Northern Ireland
  • 684 new records for ‘Imperial and Commonwealth’, of which 346 records discuss the colonial histories of Asia and 183 records refer to histories of the colonial African nations.

partner_icon Partners

Compiled and edited by specialist bibliographers and historians at the University of London, BBIH is a joint research and publishing project of the UK’s Royal Historical Society and Institute of Historical Research, and its publisher Brepols.

flyer Leaflet

English version (PDF)

flyer Flyer

English version (PDF)

slide3 Slides

A PowerPoint tutorial is available here.

video Videos

What is OpenURL? (Brepolis Bibliographies) – YouTube Video

video Help pack for Online History Teaching

This page helps you get the most from the BBIH, and shows how to use BBIH in a blended learning environment:

These guides introduce users to BBIH, show you how to:


They show how BBIH can be used to:

  • find key publications for study or new reading lists
  • create literature reviews on a historical topic
  • offer undergraduate training in finding resources
  • learn about different kinds of publication used in university teaching
  • link you directly and without fuss to articles etc. online in a library’s collection.

If you are not familiar with the BBIH the one-minute introductory video ‘What is the Bibliography of British and Irish History?’ is the place to start!

Themed Online Reading Lists

Since 2020, the Bibliography’s editors have produced the following online reading lists drawn from publications contained within BBIH:


See our blog posts or subscribe to the BREPOLiS News RSS Feed.

You can also find out more about BBIH on the Institute of Historical Research’s blog On History.

related Related Databases

Apart from BBIH, Brepols publishes a wide range of other online bibliographies: L’Année philologique (covering Antiquity), the International Medieval Bibliography, the Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale (covering the Middle Ages), the International Bibliography of Humanism and the Renaissance (covering Early Modern History), and the Index Religiosus (covering theology, religious sciences, and Church history).

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