The future of the Royal Historical Society Bibliography, Irish History Online and London's Past Online

The way in which the RHS Bibliography and London's Past Online are published will change from 1 January 2010. The new service, under a new name (Bibliography of British and Irish History [BBIH]) will be a partnership between the Royal Historical Society, the Institute of Historical Research and Brepols Publishers. The existing editorial team, with its close links to academic historians, will continue to be involved. Our aim is to maintain and to improve upon the standards and facilities of the current Bibliography, and of course to keep the Bibliography up-to-date by adding information about new publications, which currently entails adding well over 10,000 records each year.

As a result of these changes, the service will no longer be available free of charge, but the RHS and the IHR have concluded that this is the only way to secure the updating and improvement of the database in the long term, and thus to ensure the on-going usefulness of the work that has so far been funded by several charities (including the Leverhulme Trust and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), and by the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council. The RHS and IHR will be increasing their financial commitment to the Bibliography in order to keep subscriptions as low as possible.

Our new partners, Brepols, who publish the International Medieval Bibliography, will also contribute their extensive experience in the online publication of bibliographies and reference works for scholars.

BBIH will be available by institutional and individual subscriptions, and we hope that our existing users will be able to use it. You can help by telling your library about the changes and encouraging them to subscribe to BBIH.

BBIH will be available for institutional trials from October 2009 and will be launched on 1 January 2010, when the existing Bibliography website will close.

The launch of BBIH will also entail changes to our partner project, Irish History Online. An announcement about this will be made later in the year.

We have prepared answers to some of the questions that we think users are most likely to ask. You can also read the press release from the RHS and the IHR, or see Brepols' leaflet advertising the forthcoming service. We will publish further news on the Bibliography website and through our mailing list as soon as it becomes available.

29 Jun 2009