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Title Page for Outlines of English History



Director: Leslie Howsam

HISTORY BOOKS / BOOK HISTORIES (HBOOKS) is a site for developing a relational database to showcase the intricate networks connecting historians, history books, and cultural institutions in the late 19th and early-20th century British World. HBOOKS will serve as infrastructure for an ambitious research program on the historical culture of the British world. It attends not only to those who identified themselves as historians, but to the publishers and editors, teachers and learners, reviewers and readers, politicians and pundits who made and used the material culture of the past.

It grows out of Leslie Howsam’s decade-long interest in exploring historical writing (in books and periodicals) from the perspective of the history of the book. Earlier work in this area includes her book Past into Print: the Publishing of History in Britain 1850-1950 (2009) and her website historybooks ( which includes HiPPo (History in the [Victorian] Periodical Press online) and “Sources for the Study of Historians in Britain”. HiPPo is a database of some 2700 articles and book reviews in 19 periodicals, published between 1809 and 1916. “Sources” lists over 1000 practitioners of historical research, with brief annotations about the locations of archival, print, and digital resources.

HBOOKS will expand on historybooks to create a threefold database: a prosopography of the people involved in the historical culture of the British world (not just historian-authors, but also publishers, editors, readers and others); a bibliography of books, periodical articles and reviews; and an “institution-ography” which aims to link such entities as periodicals, publishing houses, and educational institutions to the people and books they made possible.