New records

This update includes just over 4800 new records; just over 1700 of these cover publications of 2007-8.

1127 of the new records relate to Irish history. These include around half of the Writings on Irish History for 2005, provided by Irish History Online; the remainder of the records from the 2005 Writings will be included in our next update. The number of records in the database relating to Irish history now totals 65,500; all these records are 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 no longer 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. 185 of the new records in this update relate to London and are 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 nearly 446,000 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.

New or improved functionality

We have added to the RHS search menu an option to search for material relating to Scottish history. This marks our continuing co-operation with the Scottish Historical Review Trust which should enhance the Bibliography's coverage of Scottish history.

You can now restrict searches from the Simple search form by period covered.

When you use the Simple search form or the Subject (free text) field on the Full search form or Search builder some words that appear so frequently in the database that they will slow down your search while doing little to refine your results are now ignored. These stop words are: 'a', 'an', 'and', 'Britain', 'England', 'history', 'in', 'of', 'or', 'the', 'to'. If you wish to find a title containing these words, you can use the Title field on the Full search form or Search builder. You can also carry out Place index searches for 'England' or 'Britain' on the Full search form or Search builder provided that you combine them with other search terms, although the results may be disappointing because important work on, for example, the social history of England or Britain may be contained in works covering the whole of Britain and Ireland which have been indexed with 'United Kingdom (pre-1922 boundaries)'.

Our Search builder, which enables you to build your own search form, repeating fields as often as you like, and to customize the Boolean operators that you use, so that you can select OR or AND NOT, can now be reached directly from the search menu.

When you search for an Author or Person as subject on the Full search form or the Search builder, our software will now carry out your search even if you do not enter the surname first, although using our recommended surname first format will still produce the most precise results.

When you select Latest additions from the Search menu and use the index buttons for authors, journals/series or persons as subjects on the Full search form or Search builder, the lists that you see are now confined to terms used in the latest additions. Also, if you use one of the hyperlinks on the detailed record display to search for a Subject classification or Place index term, the search is now carried out on the latest additions only.

When your search produces more than 100 results, so that the Brief display is spread over two or more pages, you can now mark records on more than one page to view in detail, although you cannot view more than 150 records in detail at once. When you move from one page of results to another, the new page should now be generated more quickly.

To make it easier for you to send feedback, the detailed display of each record now includes a link to our online comment form. We also indicate how to cite the record if you wish to send a link to somebody, or to include it in a web page.

We have improved the way that we check whether you are in a United Kingdom Higher Education Institution with a link resolver, so that, if you enter the bibliography via a link from another resource, such as the Oxford DNB, rather than through our Search menu, we can detect whether you have a resolver that is registered with the United Kingdom OpenURL Router, and the links to full text services that you see will be customized accordingly.

New links to online text and services

We have introduced links to the online Who was Who for historical personages appearing in our detailed results display and in our browsable indexes of personal names. These links are available only where a person also appears in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, but we have updated our links to the online Oxford DNB to take account of their May release. A subscription is required to use both Who was Who and the Oxford DNB online. We are very grateful to Oxford DNB for their help in establishing and maintaining these links.

We have extended our links to the full text journal articles freely available in the online library of the Archaeology Data Service by including links from our records for articles in Medieval Archaeology, 1-50 (1957-2006). Links for Surrey Archaeological Collections and Sussex Archaeological Collections have been updated to take account of material newly added by the ADS Library. We are also continuing to update our links to other online resources, including Oxford Scholarship Online and British History Online, as new material appears there.

Other news

As in all updates, the indexing of many records initially published in the CD-ROM version of the RHS Bibliography has been improved.

We plan to carry out the next data upgrade in October 2008, although we are also planning to release additional display formats, to make it easier to import records into bibliographical software, later this summer.

2 Jul 2008