Thursday, 28 April 2016

[#22] Bibliography of British and Irish History, available online at accessed on 28 April 2016.*

* Nota bene:  It’s my understanding that this is only available to subscribing academic institutions on networked computers though I may be wrong. However, there are links to other bibliographies in the ‘Other Online Bibliographies’ page.

One of the easiest ways to find new literature relating to your area of interest is looking at other people’s references and bibliographies. Therefore, looking for something ‘fun’ to read over the weekend, I did a search in the BBIH for literature relating to medieval Anglo-Jewry and was pleasantly surprised by the number of pieces of literature which my search yield – 168 (and I’m sure that more would be yielded by playing around with the search terms), though that includes a number of essays contained in the same volumes. It has to be acknowledged that this is a wonderful resource with which to search for literature generally, and medieval Anglo-Jewry specifically, and you, dear reader, might have more success finding material of interest to you than waiting from my rambling discussions on individual pieces. However, despite its potential I find the BBIH to be a slightly disappointing resource for literature relating to my subject area (though in general it is excellent) due to the fact that only a fraction of literature on the subject has been listed on the site (even if you factor in different variances of search terms). Therefore, while it’s wonderful that these references have been included in the BBIH, I think that the next step should be to make a concerted effort to bring this aspect of the bibliography up to the levels of excellence which are visible in other areas of the site. This would certainly go some way to making the topic of medieval Anglo-Jewry more visible to academics and students alike and would thus play an important part in perpetuating scholarship on the discipline. I must confess that I have no idea how one would go about bringing about this development, beyond the actual references themselves, but perhaps there are academic readers who might know about this.

Interim Correction (29 April 2016): The assistant editor of the BBIH, Sara Charles, hads kindly notified me that there are, in fact, more entries in results can be yielded from this website by doing an advanced search for Jews in the advanced search option and then narrowing the time-frame down to the period 0-1500 which apparently yields 415 results which seems a much more reasonable number. However, I am unable to say how representative this is until I see what the search returns when I go into university next week, so a fuller correction may well be issued then. Thus, this is very much an instance of my technological incompetence being at fault (I knew that there was a reason I was a medievalist!) and I correspondingly apologise for error.

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