Bibliography of British and Irish History: coverage of imperial and Commonwealth history

We include imperial and Commonwealth history but we do not aspire to complete coverage of the countries that formed (or form) part of the British empire or of the Commonwealth.

Outside the colonial period, we include only material that obviously covers relations with Britain or continuing British influence (such as Privy Council involvement), the workings of the Commonwealth, British or Irish migration to the countries in question, or minority communities of British or Irish descent.  This approach applies to Canada after confederation (1867 for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Québec), to Australia after the Australian Commonwealth Act of 1900, to New Zealand after it acquired dominion status in 1907 and to South Africa after the union of 1910.  We do however include the dominions' participation in international conflict and their relations with other powers, since such material may have something to say (if only by implication) about their relations with Britain. 

As far as the colonies are concerned, our aim is again to provide a guide to writing on their relations with Britain and the British.  We therefore do not include historical anthropological material on indigenous peoples unless it is obvious that it covers relations with, or intervention by, the colonizers or the colonial administration.  Otherwise, we adopt an inclusive approach to material that is contained within the journals that we survey, to monographs that come to our attention through the British National Bibliography or reviews in journals that we survey, and to other relevant material that is drawn to our attention by our section editors or otherwise.  This inclusivity for material on the colonial period reflects the difficulty of identifying from titles and abstracts where colonizers or the colonial administration might be involved.  For example, a recent article from the Jamaican Historical Review entitled 'Jamaica's "Broadway" - urbanity, glamour and dysfunction on early 20th century King Street, Jamaica' includes material on the governor's intervention in the re-planning of the street following the 1907 earthquake.  A list of the journals that we regularly survey for relevant material can be seen herehowever, there are, of course, that there are many local history journals relating to former British colonies that we do not cover.

We welcome your comments on this approach (in particular suggestions for additional journals that we might cover), although we ask you to bear in mind that we do not have the resources to make radical extensions to our existing coverage.