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London sheriffs' court roll

Dr Peter Webster, 13 February 2012

An edition of the court roll for 1320 is now live. Edited by Dr Matthew F. Stevens, it gives a complete edition and index of London's only surviving such roll for the medieval period, for July-Sept 1320. It was produced as part of the Centre for Metropolitan History ESRC-funded 'London women and the economy before and after the black death' project (2009-10). View it at:

Usability test for BHO and ReScript

Bruce Tate, 20 September 2011

We would like to ask your help, as a user of British History Online, to find ways in which we can improve the website and our prototype collaborative editing platform, ReScript. If you could spare a few moments to take two online tests, we would be very grateful. They are part of a programme of tests designed to tell us if the changes we've made to the sites will be an improvement.

Not only will your participation help us to improve our own sites, but the results will also contribute to the development of a national policy for digital resource usability in Higher Education by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), so your input will be extremely valuable both to us and more widely.

Site changes

Bruce Tate, 06 September 2011

The first set of enhancements designed to improve usability on British History Online specifically produced as part of the JISC 01/11B funding are now live.

  • checkboxes added to the advanced search form allowing users to exclude indices and abbreviation lists

  • sort search results by event date as well as relevance

  • search results page now enables users to examine all the filters on their query and instantly remove certain parts

  • simple map at the head of the geographically ordered sources with zoom function

  • A to Z and Z to A sort options, useful for series which are ordered chronologically

Usability test for British History Online

Jonathan Blaney, 16 August 2011

We would like to ask your help, as a registered user on British History Online, to find ways in which we can improve the website. If you could spare a few moments to take an online test about how well the current British History Online website works, we would be very grateful.

The survey is part of wider research that we are doing into reducing the impact of 'information overload' on the usefulness of the website to historical research and teaching. This will enable us to show better value for money to all our funding sources by leading to greater and more informed use of the site as a whole, strengthening its case for sustainability. Additionally, the results will contribute to a national policy for digital resource usability in Higher Education by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), which supports information technology in Higher Education, so your input will be extremely valuable to us and more widely.

Survey of London monographs

Dr Peter Webster, 18 May 2011

This series of 17 volumes is now complete. Detailing individual buildings of particular note, including the church of St Bride Fleet Street and the County Hall, it complements the parish volumes of the Survey, also available on BHO. View them all at:

New datasets for London history now live

Dr Peter Webster, 21 March 2011

Two major new sources for London history are now live. The hearth tax returns for the cities of London and Westminster and the county of Middlesex are now available for the 1662-66, containing over 60,000 names. Also recently released is an edition of the records of the Court of Common Pleas (CP40) for the fifteenth century. Read them both at:

New video tutorials available

Jonathan Blaney, 05 March 2011

Two new screencasts (video tutorials) are available on the site. They are very brief and are designed to help people get the most out of their use of British History Online.

One screencast explains how to use the advanced search function, and the other shows what can be done on the browse page.

We plan to add more screencasts in the coming months, introducing some key content of the site.

Please let us know what you think of the screencasts on the 'contact us' page.

Four more Somerset volumes live

Jonathan Blaney, 02 December 2010

Four more volumes of the Victoria County History of Somerset are now live. These volumes, numbers 1, 4, 5 and 9, cover the natural history and early history of the county, the Crewkerne and South Petherton hundreds, the Hundred of Williton and Freemanors, and Glastonbury and Street respectively.

This means that all of the currently published volumes of the Victoria County History, Somerset, are now available to read on British History Online:

London Record Society

Dr Peter Webster, 05 August 2010

Volumes 31 and 32 are now live. Produced with the kind support of the Society, these two volumes continue to extend BHO's holdings of these key London sources. View them at:

Alumni Oxonienses, 1500-1714

Jonathan Blaney, 03 August 2010

The first two volumes of the Alumni Oxonienses, 1500-1714, are now online. The Alumni Oxonienses lists all known members of the University of Oxford, along with biographical details where known, and the relationships between members (such as fathers and sons and siblings). There are entries for the famous, such as John Donne or Lancelot Andrewes, but the great value of this source is its coverage of many obscure lives. The section covering the alphabetical range Abannan to Kyte is now online, and we plan to add the rest of the series in due course. Sample the Alumni Oxonienses here: