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British history

Liaison librarian

  • eamon [dot] duffy [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-4697
  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Sources for Background Information


Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and Handbooks


Searching the Library Catalogue

Use the basic word(s) anywhere or advanced keyword search in the library catalogue. You can search using words like - Canada, Canad?, histor?, etc.

Search tips

Truncation symbol: ? e.g. histor? will retrieve catalogue records containing the words history, histories, historical, etc.
Phrase searching: "___" e.g. "Great Britain" will retrieve catalogue records containing the phrase Great Britain
Boolean operators: (), AND, OR, NOT
default: AND
e.g. history AND (England OR "Great Britain") will retrieve catalogue records containing the word history AND either England OR the phrase Great Britain

Core and Additional Databases

History Periodical Indexes, Bibliographies, Full-text Articles (Electronic Databases)

Multidisciplinary Databases

Including British history-related material.

Government Documents (Electronic Databases)

Newspapers (Electronic Databases)

Journals (Electronic Databases)

Primary Source Bibliographies, Books (Electronic Databases)

Primary Sources (Other) (Electronic Databases)

Selected Internet Sites

Accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

  • McGill University Department of History
  • History section, Britannia Internet Magazine.
    Has timeline, primary documents, articles, monarchs (geneaology, portraits and biographies), sketches of prime ministers, related links, etc.
  • Spartacus Educational
    Developed by British History teachers and UK's Schoonet, this site has several major sections: Encyclopedia of British History: 1700-1900, Child Labour: 1750-1900, Parliamentary Reform: 1750-1900, Peterloo Massacre, First World War Encyclopedia, Investigating the Vietnam War, and Emancipation of Women: 1860-1920. Includes many pages of selections from primary documents, short biographies, analyses, glossary, bibliography, and related links.
  • Renaissance Faire
    Material for "renfaire" workers, covering basic faire accent and pronunciation, costuming, acting, and basic history from the Tudor through Elizabethan period.
  • Victoria Research Web
    Primary material, bibliographies, guides, links, discussion groups, journal guide, etc. re 19th century Britain.
  • Victorian Web
    Originally, a resource for Brown University Victorian Literature courses, with essays on political and social history, philosophy, religion, technology, gender, visual arts, theatre, genre; e-books and texts, bibliography, related links, etc. Contributions by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from various countries as well as the United States.
  • Romantic Chronology
    Mainly literary personnages, events, and movements in the romantic period (17th - 19th century), some with links etc.
    Compiled 1993 for a Master's thesis on Ernest Jones.
  • Concise History of the British Newspaper Since 1620 Chronology.
  • Imperial War Museum Collections On-line Database
    Catalogues of documents, film and sound, with short essays on major historical themes.

Primary Sources (Internet Resources)

Maps (Internet Resources)

  • Old Maps (old-maps.co.uk)
    "Britain's most extensive digital historical map archive", jointly owned by Landmark and Ordnance Survey, Britain's national mapping agency.

Statistics (Internet Resources)

  • U.K. Data Archive
    Access to over 5000 computer-readable datasets for research and teaching purposes for many different disciplines. Searching and browsing is free but registration is required to access raw data. Other datasets also available through reciprocal arrangements with other data archives throughout the world, including CESSDA (Council of European Social Science Data Archives). Umbrella organisation for the History Data Service (HDS) [see below].
  • AHDS History
    Formerly HDS: History Data Service provides access to historical digital resources (social and economic datasets, mainly U.K.) held by various organisations. Home of the Great Britain Historical Database Online. To obtain data, users must register once: data is sent within 28 days with invoice for any charges and costs.
  • Statistical Accounts of Scotland
    Wealth, class and poverty, climate, agriculture, fishing and wildlife; population, schools, and the moral health of the people, 1790's and 1830's, based largely on information supplied by each parish church minister.
  • Census And Related Materials For Students
    Introduction to Victorian censuses. From Staffordshire University.

Other Resources

Library Guides

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