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Sources for The Study of Historians

This alphabetical list of over 1000 practitioners of history in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries was generated as part of the research for Leslie Howsam’s Past into Print and is made public here for the benefit of other scholars. It includes a brief biographical note on each historian, and identifies whether further information is available in the National Register of Archives, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography or in a dedicated biographical study. The information is up to date as of October 2012.

A-Z List of Sources

Conventions and Abbreviations

1. Each entry begins with the name(s) and dates of the historian in question, followed by a brief statement of research interests (place, time and/or theme). This is not meant to be comprehensive; indeed the following lines direct the user to further information. In particular it should be noted that non-scholarly aspects of a historian’s career are not mentioned, so that the entry for Winston Churchill is little longer than that for William Albery, a local historian of Horsham.

2. Four reference works in print. When the historian in question is recorded in one of these works, this information is provided. The reference books are:

ODNB – Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published in 60 volumes by Oxford University Press in 2004. Updates have since been added, and the whole ODNB can be accessed at

 BW – The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians (New York: Blackwell Reference, 1988)

Global – A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing (2 vol), ed D. R. Woolf (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998)

EHHW – Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing (2 vol), ed. Kelly Boyd (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999).

3. National Register of Archives (NRA). When a record of manuscript archives of the historian in question has been captured by the National Register of Archives, that information is noted. Go to  – the Historical Manuscripts Commission, which includes the National Register of Archives – and make a “simple search” on the historian’s name. This generates whatever information is available, which will include the name and address of the repository where the actual archives are to be found. The Historical Manuscripts Commission is not itself a repository and the NRA does not hold any manuscripts or historical records.

4. Biography(ies): When a book-length biography has been published, or when the historian in question wrote an autobiography, the bibliographical information is provided.