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2015 in review

23 December, 2015

Sarah Milligan, Publishing Manager

With the year winding down, we wanted to take a moment to look back on this past year. As we anticipated, 2015 was a great year for adding new content to our site. Here's the full list of everything we added this year:

That is a total of twenty-two new publications added to BHO this year, covering a wide range of time periods and places. We are very grateful to the funding and support that we received to enable us to add all of these new publications.

In addition to adding new content, we've been busy making small improvements to the site, especially the search engine; we've added a new subject guide; welcomed several new institutional subscribers and many new individual subscribers; participated in the Being Human Festival; and started work on lots of the projects and content that is forthcoming in the new year. 

Thanks for being part of the BHO community. Looking forward to an exciting and productive 2016! 

- The BHO team

Parliament, page scans and post mortem inquisitions

7 May, 2015

Sarah Milligan, Publishing Manager

1624 Parliamentary Diaries
Mapping the Medieval Countryside

If 2014 was the year of rebuilding at BHO, 2015 is (so far) the year of publishing. Since the team was busy with the redevelopment in 2014, it had been a long time since we were able to add new content so we are now very glad to have an abundance of newly published and forthcoming content.

The first new publication added to BHO is an edition of the Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons prepared by Philip Baker of the History of Parliament Trust. This born-digital edition is being published for the first time via BHO. The first batch of materials—the parliamentary diaries for February 1624—were released on BHO 12 February, 391 years from the day of the Parliament’s first sitting in 1624. The March and April materials were released on the respective anniversaries of the Parliament’s first sittings for those months. Each new batch of publications was accompanied by a blog post describing the significance of this Parliament and the efforts involved in producing this new edition. Read the February, March and April posts.

The May proceedings still need finishing touches, but we look forward to completing the edition soon. This edition nicely complements the other parliamentary materials that we have on BHO, including the Journals of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Read our guide to researching parliamentary history on BHO.

We also reintroduced the page scans for the Journals of the House of Lords and Journals of the House of Commons. We had temporarily removed the page scans in order to replace them with high-quality versions in line with the quality of the rest of our collection of page scans (available with a gold or institutional subscription).

Finally, we have also published volumes 3 and 4 of the Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, which was sponsored by the AHRC-funded ‘Mapping the Medieval Countryside' project. Volumes 1 and 2 of the series were published as a test case several years ago. Volumes 3 and 4 will be followed by the remainder of the series. Their release was also accompanied with a blog post introducing these volumes.

If you'd like to stay updated on everything that we are doing at BHO, or to test your knowledge with our #BHOquiz, follow us on Twitter!


Welcome to the new and improved British History Online!

8 December, 2014

Sarah Milligan, Publishing Manager

British History Online (BHO) is pleased to launch version 5.0 of its website. Work on the website redevelopment began in January 2014 and involved a total rebuild of the BHO database and a complete redesign of the site. We hope our readers will find the new site easier to use than ever before. New features include:

  • A new search interface that allows you to narrow your search results by place, period, source type or subject.

  • A new catalogue interface that allows you to see our entire catalogue at a glance, or to browse by place, period, source type or subject.

  • Three subject guides on local history, parliamentary history and urban history. We are hoping to add more subject guides throughout the year. If you would like to contribute, contact us.

  • Guidelines on using BHO, which include searching and browsing help, copyright and citation information, and a list of external resources that we hope will be useful to readers.

  • A new about page that includes information about our team, past and present, as well as a history of where we have come from and where we want to go next.

  • A new subscription interface (at last!) which includes three new levels of subscription in addition to the usual premium content subscription: gold subscription, which includes access to page scans and five and ten-year long-term BHO subscriptions.

  • Increased functionality to the maps interface, which are now fully zoomable and can even go full screen. We have also replaced the old map scans with high-quality versions.

  • We also updated the site with a fresh, new look! We aimed for easy-to-read text, clear navigation, clean design and bright new images.

​Version 5.0 has been a labour of love for the entire BHO team, but we have to give special thanks to Martin Steer, our tireless website manager who rebuilt the site from the ground up.

For over a decade, you have turned to BHO for reliable and accessible sources for the history of Britain and Ireland. We started off with 29 publications in 2003 and here is where we are now:

  • 1.2 million page views per month

  • 365,000 sessions per month

  • 1,241 publications

  • 108,227 text files

  • 184,355 images

  • 10,380 maps

​We are very grateful to our users who make this kind of development possible. Your support allows BHO to always be growing and improving. 2014 has been a busy year for BHO and 2015 promises to be just as busy. Version 5.0 was a complete rebuild of BHO. We stripped the site down and began rebuilding from scratch. The goal of the new site is to make it as easy as possible for you to find materials relevant to your research. The new site was designed to be able to grow and expand easily, while always preserving the most important features of BHO. Read about our plans for 2015 and beyond.

We'd love to hear your feedback on our new site! If you want to stay up-to-date on what we are doing at BHO, follow us on Twitter.