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 Since its publication in 2010, BBIH has superseded the RHS Bibliography as an essential tool for researchers working on British and Irish history at every level and throughout the world.


Aims and scope

The Bibliography of British and Irish History Online provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British empire and commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available – from 55BC to the present. As well as providing details of publications, the bibliography offers links to online catalogues to help you find the items that it lists in research libraries in Britain and Ireland. It also provides links to online text where available. The bibliography is a guide 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 lists books, articles in books and articles in journals. Some 800 journals and series are regularly checked. Material is included irrespective of place or language of publication. The BBIH is a vital tool for any university library and is invaluable for all levels of academic research, from undergraduate dissertations to the most advanced scholarship.

BBIH: view of a bibliographical record

BBIH: view of a bibliographical record

Key Features

  • A database of over 630,000 records, updated three times per year, with around 12,000 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, articles in journals (print and electronic), review articles and articles in collections of essays
  • Some 800 journals and series regularly checked
  • Contents reviewed by specialist academics for accuracy and completeness
  • Indexed using a specially designed classification hierarchy
  • 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
  • Ability to find out more about people covered 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, H-Albion Reviews, Google books, and JISC Library Hub Discover


The BBIH is the fruit of a partnership between the Institute of Historical Research, the Royal Historical Society and Brepols Publishers


English version (PDF)


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!

Related blog Posts

The Institute of Historical Research has also a blog dedicated to the BBIH.

Related Databases

See also the International Medieval Bibliography.

User help

A PowerPoint tutorial is available here.



© Online version, Functional Design and Publication Rights by Brepols Publishers n.v. (Turnhout, Belgium)

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions.

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