British and Commonwealth History Collection
Library Subject Collection
subject description and guidelines
Focus is on the history of Great Britain and Ireland. Coverage of the history of the Commonwealth countries of Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania is selective.
Materials covering the history of Great Britain and Ireland are intended to support the teaching and research needs of undergraduates, graduate students, academic staff, and faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences, with particular consideration for the department of History, as well as related disciplines and interdisciplinary programs, specifically: English, Medieval Studies, Anthropology, and City and Regional Planning, Government, etc. Visiting researchers are welcome.
Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and the Irish Republic: The collection aims to be at the research level (supporting original scholarship). Strengths are the Middle Ages, Tudor Stuart Period (including the English Civil War), the Eighteenth Century, and the Nineteenth Century. Olin Library is also rich in local history and the publications of local historical societies, British naval history, the building of the empire, the First and Second World Wars, and the Irish uprisings of the early Twentieth Century. Newly available sets of primary sources (in microform, digital, or print), especially in convenient digital form, are highly desirable and, as budgets allow, particular effort is made to acquire them.
Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania: Coverage is selective and representative of major trends and areas. The history of aboriginal peoples is selective rather than comprehensive. Materials relevant to the study of indigenous languages and peoples may also be acquired by the Linguistics or the Anthropology selectors.
United Kingdom--Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and the Irish Republic: all historic time periods, including historic archaeology and the Middle Ages. Relevant materials may also be acquired by other selectors, such as the Medieval Studies selector, the Classics and Ancient History, or General History selectors.
Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania: from European Colonization to the twentieth century
Juvenile literature, textbooks, genealogy, manuscripts and archives, rare books, newspapers. Materials about most of the former British colonies are the purview of other selectors, i.e., South African history is collected by the African Studies selector and south Asian history is collected by the South Asian Studies selector.
Newly acquired material may be in either physical (book, serial, microform, DVD) or virtual (e-journal, database) format. For new serial subscriptions the default mode is electronic access (if available) unless physical issues present visual content better suited for research.