New Arts and Humanities Research Council grant

We are pleased to announce that the RHS Bibliography has received a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to fund the continuing development of the bibliography as a free online resource for three years from 1 January 2007. As well as continuing to keep the bibliography up-to-date, we plan to develop more item-to-item linkage to digitized copies of works that we have indexed. Among the partners identified are the Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland project and the Oxford University-Google project to digitize nineteenth-century publications, where we plan to link to online texts of enduring value to historians (including record society series) – at the same time we will be trying to promote awareness of the bibliography among local history and record societies. We will be helped in this by our links to British History Online which is also developing its contacts in the same area. We will also be exploring increased ‘exposure’ of the data to internet search engines such as Google and we will be developing a series of online tutorials which will assist those new to the database.

Co-operation with Scottish Historical Review Trust

This update includes the first titles edited by a new team at Stirling University, led by Dr Emma Macleod and working under the auspices of the Scottish Historical Review Trust. A redevelopment of our online interface planned for 2007 should yield a number of improvements, including the introduction of a “Scottish material only” option on the search menu similar to those already available for Irish history and the history of London. The bibliography’s Scottish coverage will be improved, but those who have previously used the Scottish Historical Review's printed lists of new articles will also have access to a more frequently updated service with more extensive subject indexing that will also be enriched by the wider searching for Scottish material in non-specialist journals that co-operation with the RHS Bibliography will make possible. We hope that this might become, along with the existing and very successful co-operation between the RHS Bibliography and Irish History Online, a model for co-operation with similar projects concerned with the history of particular countries, regions or topics.

New records

This update includes over 4500 new records; some 1500 of these cover publications of 2006-7.

This update includes 1140 new records relating to Irish history, mostly provided by Irish History Online. These include the great bulk of titles from the Writings on Irish History for 2002 that had not already appeared in the database, so that the database now includes virtually the entire contents of the Writings on Irish History for 1936-2002. Over 59,000 titles on Irish history are now accessible using the Irish material only option on the RHS search menu, or through the Irish History Online search menu.

Although the London's Past Online project is not itself creating new records, new material on London history continues to be made available by the Royal Historical Society and (where titles concern the Irish in London) by Irish History Online. This update contains 165 new records relating to London and a total of 41,300 records is now available using the London material only option on the RHS search menu, or through the London's Past Online search menu.

The complete database, including titles from Irish History Online and London's Past Online, now contains over 424,000 records.

You can browse all the latest additions, including those from Irish History Online and London's Past Online, by broad period/country categories (based on the sections previously used for the printed RHS Annual Bibliography) by going to our browse page.

Enhanced Person as subject index

When you search by Person as subject using either the Full search form or the Search builder your results will now include works by the person for whom you are searching that are contained in the bibliography, as well as works about them. This will apply where we have identified that people in our index of authors are the same as those listed in our Person as subject index; we will be increasing the number of such identifications with each update.

Z39.50 compatibility

We are working on improving the bibliography's performance in conjunction with the BookWhere Z39.50 client. We will be adding some guidance on using the bibliography through BookWhere to the website soon.

Other news

As in previous updates, the indexing of many existing records has been improved. As well as enhancing the indexing of numerous individual records, we have also where possible (and where it would supplement existing indexing) converted into terms from the current subject classification scheme the subject "themes" given to records from the Writings on British History for 1946-74 when they were included in the 1998 CD-Rom edition; these "themes" were not previously included in the online version. This extends the work carried out in 2006 on the records from the 1975-92 Annual Bibliographies, and has resulted in additional subject classification terms being applied to nearly 13,000 records.

We plan to carry out the next data upgrade in May 2007.

24 Feb 2007