A New Bristol Bibliography

The New Bristol Bibliography was originally compiled by the Bristol Historical Databases Project at the University of the West of England. It was envisaged that a large collection of bibliographical information would be an invaluable nucleus of data for both researchers and teachers alike. Despite its title, the scope of the bibliography has expanded since the first edition and it now includes a considerable amount of material relating to Bath, parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Although it cannot claim to be exhaustive it does contain most of the recently published material. The scope of the bibliography is innovative. The last attempt at collecting bibliographical material relating to Bristol was edited by E. R. Norris Matthews and published in 1916. This only catalogued material contained in the Central Library. The New Bristol Bibliography includes features which take it well beyond the limits of such early bibliographical lists, both in content and format.

Essentially the bibliography has been collated to include secondary sources which refer to the Bristol region's history from the Roman period onwards (although some archaeological works refer to periods before this), including works which refer to the present day. It should be stressed that the material within this bibliography consists almost entirely of secondary sources, the great majority of primary sources having been deemed to be outside its scope.

By undertaking a bibliography to cover the variety of the Bristol area's history over the last two thousand years, we have included material on many diverse topics. As such, this bibliography is certainly not a simple list of history books, but is a serious attempt to provide a research tool for as many researchers as possible.

This work does not, however, attempt a straight duplication of the published bibliography by E. R. Norris Matthews. Certainly many of the items contained in Matthews can be found in this bibliography; but it should be stressed that there will be some material exclusive to Matthews, and that this should, therefore, be consulted as an complementary source (there is a copy in Bristol's Central Reference Library).

Four types of source are included in the bibliography:-


The bibliography is supplied in two forms:-

As an Idealist database. A read-only version of the software necessary to use this version is supplied on this CD-ROM, together with installation instructions.

As spreadsheet files in Corel Quattro Pro and Microsoft Excel formats. These files can be used in the format supplied or imported into a database management system to simplify the search procedure.

For each of the four types of source, the information is displayed coherently and effectively in various fields. The majority of these fields are self-explanatory and require no elucidation. For example, all four types of secondary source will have an author field in which the author of the work is identified. However, only those sources identified as theses will have a 'university' field identifying the place where the thesis was written.

To facilitate searching, each record within the bibliography has been given one of eighteen keyword descriptions. These are listed below. Where possible a keydate description has also been added to give some indication of the time period covered by the publication. These are also listed below. Note that where the time period has been difficult to ascertain, no keydate has been added, leaving only a keyword description.


Adminstration: publications relating to the administration of local government

Architecture & Planning: publications relating to all architectural matters, as well as issues of local town planning and development

Archives & Bibliography: publications relating details of existing archives and bibliographies

Biography: publications relating biographical details of individuals and/or families

Commerce & Industry: publications relating issues of commerce and industry (this includes broader economic matters as well)

Culture & Leisure: publications connected with all aspects of culture and leisure (this includes such things as sport, painting, theatre, etc)

Descriptions & Guides: publications which are general descriptions and guides (this section includes not only such things as city guides and directories, but also brochures and pamphlets describing key events)

Education: publications relating educational detail

Environment: publications relating environmental detail

Health: publications relating any aspect of health or medical detail

History: publications relating any historical or archaeological detail

Localities: publications relating detail of key localities outside the cities of Bristol and Bath

Maritime: publications relating distinct maritime detail

Museums: publications relating details of any museum exhibitions, displays, etc

Religion: publications relating religious detail

Society & Politics: publications relating detail concerning society in general, as well as political matters

Transport: publications relating transport details

War: publications concerning war, and other more general military topics

Key Dates:-

-500: years before 500 A.D.

500-1500: years between 500 and 1500 A.D. inclusive

1500-1700: years between 1500 and 1700 A.D. inclusive

1700-1815: years between 1700 and 1815 A.D. inclusive

1815-1914: years between 1815 and 1914 A.D. inclusive

1914+: years after 1914 A.D.

The compilers would like to thank Dr Peter Denley of the Humanities Computing Centre at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, whose database for sources in historical computing provided our initial format. They would also like to thank Nick Lee and Michael Richardson (with the Special Collections Department of Bristol University), Sheena Stoddard (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery), Margaret Lantry (Royal Historical Society Bibliography), all the staff at the Bristol Central Reference Library, and the staff of the St. Matthias Campus Library, University of the West of England. Corrections and additions have been provided by Jonathan Harlow and Trevor Fawcett. The latter has also been responsible for collecting all of the items which refer to Bath and has been extremely helpful in the development and implementation of the keyword system used in this version of the dataset.