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British history: reference sources

This is a selective list of reference sources relating to British history which are available in the Humanities Reading Room. Electronic resources can be accessed in the Electronic Resources Room in both Humanities - Floor 1 and 2. The shelfmark of each item is given at the end of every citation. Another online listing is provided by the Institute of Historical Research. For reference sources relating to British local history see Topography: reference sources.

Bibliographies | Companions | Sources | Chronology



W. Bonser, A prehistoric bibliography. Extended and edited by J. Troy. Oxford: Blackwell, 1976.
W. Bonser, A Romano-British bibliography, 55 B.C. - A.D. 449. 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell,
W. Bonser, An Anglo-Saxon and Celtic bibliography, 450-1087. 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell, 1957.
E.B. Graves, A bibliography of English history to 1485. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975.
[Based on 'The sources and literature of English history from the earliest times to about 1485' by Charles Gross.]


C. Read, Bibliography of British history. Tudor period, 1485-1603. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1959.
G.D. Davies, Bibliography of British history. Stuart period, 1603-1714. 2nd ed. edited by M.F. Keeler. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970.
S. Pargellis and D.J. Medley, Bibliography of British history. The eighteenth century,
Oxford: Clarendon, 1951.
L.M. Brown and I.R. Christie, Bibliography of British history. 1789-1851. Oxford: Clarendon, 1977.
H.J. Hanham, Bibliography of British history. 1851-1914. Oxford: Clarendon, 1976.
K. Robbins, A bibliography of British history. 1914-1989. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.
P. Catterall, British history 1945-1987: an annotated bibliography. Oxford: Published for the Institute of Contemporary British History by Blackwell, 1990.
Royal Historical Society, Writings on British history, 1901-1933. 5 vols. London: Cape,
  1. Auxiliary sciences and general works.
  2. The Middle Ages, 450-1485.
  3. The Tudor and Stuart periods, 1485-1714.
  4. The eighteenth century, 1714-1815.
  5. 1815-1914.
1934 to 1973/1974 covered by annual or less frequent volumes. London: Cape,


Royal Historical Society, Annual bibliography of British and Irish history. Publications of 1975-2002. Hassocks: Harvester Press, 1976-2002.


Continued by the online subscription database Bibliography of British and Irish History (onsite only).
British national archives. (Government publications sectional list; no. 24). London: H.M.S.O., 1991.
HLR Enquiry Desk 027.50941(P)
E.L.C. Mullins, Texts and calendars: an analytical guide to serial publications. London: Royal Historical Society, 1958 (repr. with corrections 1978). (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks; no. 7)
Texts and calendars II: an analytical guide to serial publications, 1957-1982. London: Royal Historical Society, 1983. (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks; no. 12).
Texts and calendars since 1982: a survey. Available online only.
HLR Enquiry Desk 941
HLR 941
A.T. Milne, A centenary guide to the publications of the Royal Historical Society, 1868-1968, and of the former Camden Society, 1838-1897. London: Royal Historical Society, 1968. (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks; no. 9)
HLR Enquiry Desk 941
D. and W.B. Stevenson, Scottish texts and calendars: an analytical guide to serial publications. London: Royal Historical Society; Edinburgh: Scottish History Society, 1987. (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks; no. 14; Scottish History Society; 4th series, v. 23)
HLR Enquiry Desk 941.1


[Works published by the Record Commission.] London, 1783-1869.

HLL941 [RC1-RC78] and also
HLR941 [R]

Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages. London, 1858-1889.

HLR941 [RS1-RS99]

Calendar of State Papers. London, 1863-.

HLR941 [RS120-]

Calendar of the Patent Rolls. London, 1891-1986.

HLR941 [RS160-RS172]

Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. [Reports and calendars]. London, 1870-2004.

HLR941 [MC1-MC81]


C. Arnold-Baker, The companion to British history. Tunbridge Wells: Longcross Press, 1996.
J. Cannon (ed.), The Oxford companion to British history. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
HLR941. 003
J. Gardiner and N. Wenborn (eds.), The History today companion to British history. London: Collins & Brown, 1995.
K. J. Panton and K. A. Cowland, Historical dictionary of the United Kingdom. (Vol. 1. England and the United Kingdom. Vol. 2. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.) Lanham, Md.; London: Scarecrow Press, 1998. (European historical dictionaries; no. 17)


C.R. Cheney (ed.), A handbook of dates for students of British history. 2nd ed. Revised by M. Jones. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks; no. 4)
A perpetual calendar, which gives any date and the day on which it fell/will fall between 1780 and 2040 is contained in Whitaker's Almanack.
HLR Enquiry Desk 032.02
A perpetual calendar is also available online.
A. and V. Palmer, The Pimlico chronology of British history. London: Pimlico, 1996.


E.B. Fryde [et al.], Handbook of British chronology. 3rd ed. London: Royal Historical Society, 1986. (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks; no. 2)
HLR Enquiry Desk 941.002
B. Blackburn and L. Holford-Strevens, The Oxford companion to the year. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

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