Institute of Historical Research

Historical Research

The IHR’s journal, Historical Research, is nearly as old as the Institute itself, with the first issue appearing only two years after the grand opening in 1921. The Bulletin of the Institute, as it was then called, was markedly different in its early years from the traditional scholarly journal, as the original advertising makes clear. The Table of Contents for the 1923 volume gives a good idea of the journal’s original aims and scope.

 

 

Table of contents for the 1923 issue of Historical Research (1)Table of contents for the 1923 issue of Historical Research (2)
It is proposed to publish in May the first number of a Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, and to continue it with three numbers a year. The price of each number will be 2s., and the annual subscription, which will also include the Annual Report of the Institute, 5s. post free.    
The contents will comprise articles and reports on archives and on the problems and methods of historical research; summaries of unpublished historical theses produced at the Institute; addenda and corrigenda to the Dictionary of National Biography, the New English Dictionary, the Rolls of Parliament, Journals of the two Houses, Rymer’s Foedera, and other standard collections, which are not likely to be reprinted; notes on the discover of unknown manuscripts, their acquisition by public bodies which would make them accessible to students, their transfer from one private owner to another; and brief obituary notices of historical scholars. The first number will contain the Report on principles of editing and rules for transcription, drawn up by a committee appointed by the Anglo-American conference of Professors of History, under the chairmanship of Mr. A.G. Little.

Flyer announcing the IHR’s new journal, 1922

Flyer announcing the IHR’s new journal, 1922Listing of first issue of Historical Research, 1923

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like the Institute itself, the publication of the Bulletin, was inevitably affected by the Second World War. For the only time in its life, the publishing schedule slipped (by up to two years), but even more of a concern was the destruction of almost the entire back stock in the Blitz.

 

 

 

Announcement of the destruction of the back stock of the journal
The journal was published by Longmans until 1952, when it passed to the now defunct University of London Athlone Press. In 1971 the IHR took over responsibility for publication and distribution. During this time, the Bulletin had been slowly evolving into a more typical scholarly journal, but the real change came in 1986 when it moved to Blackwell Publishing (now Wiley-Blackwell) under the title Historical Research. It has since become one of the UK’s leading general history journals, available in thousands of institutions worldwide. There would be no place today for an article on ‘The Use and Abuse of Capital Letters’ (A. F. Pollard, 5, 13, June 1927)!
 
Front cover, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, June 1923Title page, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, June 1923
 Front cover, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, November 1984Front cover, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, February 2000
 Front cover, Historical Research, February 2001Front cover, Historical Research, February 2011