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Winter Conference Poster
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The BAHS is the national society for the study of the history of agriculture, rural society and the landscape of Britain and Ireland. We publish a magazine, Rural History Today, as well as a scholarly journal, Agricultural History Review, and our conferences provide opportunities for historians (professional and non-professional) to meet, mix and exchange views in a friendly and sociable atmosphere.

It’s easy to join the BAHS and by doing so you will be supporting the work of the Society in promoting rural history.

Calls for Papers

A workshop, ‘Managing the Land: Agricultural and Rural Actors in Twentieth Century Europe’ is planned for April 11-12, 2019 at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. The deadline for the Call for Papers is 7 November, 2018.

Rural History 2019 – Call for Panels


Rural History 2019, the fourth biennial conference of the European Rural History Organisation (EURHO), will be held in Paris from Tuesday 10 to Friday 13 September 2019. The call for panels is now open, with a deadline of 15 October 2018.

Panel Proposal by Richard Hoyle
Is anyone interested in joining a panel looking at the trade in corn and other foodstuffs over the North Sea, and the impact of British markets (and perhaps Dutch markets too) on countries with North Sea coasts? This could include coastal trade from Scotland to England and trade from Ireland could also be considered, so the centre of gravity of the panel could shift westwards if a suitable paper was offered. The broad date range would be from the sixteenth century through to the arrival of American wheat on a large scale in the 1870s. Subjects might include the volume and development of transnational trade over the North Sea, but I would be particularly interested to hear of papers discussing the changes in agricultural regime and landscape brought about by the new opportunities offered by the British market, its impact on labour and the emergence of the new mercantile classes.

Offers or suggestions of papers to the Web Weaver who will pass them on.

To advertise your panel proposal here contact the Web Weaver.

Latest BAHS publications

Cover of current issue of Rural History Today

Rural History Today issue 35 is available online. Note that the deadline for copy for the next issue is 7 December.
Agricultural History Review Volume 66 part 1 is now available.

Cover of current Agricultural History Review

Volume 62 is now ‘open access’ on this web site.

Subscription renewals

Please note that, effective from 11 May 2018, new rates will apply to individual subscriptions to the Society. It is many years (the last increase was in 2009) since the BAHS last put up its individual subscription rates, and since then print, postage and publication costs have risen to the point where the subscription no longer covers our basic operating expenses. At the same time, the Society has increased the size of Agricultural History Review, continued to publish Rural History Today, and expanded the range of its activities, including, most recently, the email newsletter, online forums and LIBRAL.

The Executive Committee has therefore reluctantly taken the decision, endorsed by the 2018 AGM, to increase the individual UK subscription rate from £20 to £30. The concessionary rate rises from £5 to £15. We have also made other changes. There will now be a single subscription rate for overseas members, of £42, reflecting the difference in postage between the UK and all overseas countries. We have also introduced a joint subscription for the same price as an individual subscription, for two or more persons at the same address receiving a single copy of each publication.

If you pay by PayPal, you should have received a personalised version of this letter. You need not take any action until advised by the Society.

If you pay by standing order on 1 February, please amend your standing order, as described on the membership page.

email newsletter

Do you have trouble remembering to look at this web site? Would you like a reminder now and again? We plan to send out email newsletters about once a month (on average) when the content on the web site changes. We promise not to bombard you with spam, and you can un-subscribe whenever you like, from a link at the bottom of each newsletter.

BAHS forums

Do have a look at BAHS forums, where you can ask questions or start discussions on any subject related to agricultural history and the history of rural economy and society. Even if you don't have a question in mind right now you might be the one person able to answer one of the questions that are there! So please register now and subscribe to the ‘Agricultural history’ forum so that you will be notified by email about any new posts.

Funding opportunities

We have a fund available to support otherwise unfunded Conferences and Initiatives. If you are considering holding a conference, workshop, special meeting or something similar, why not apply?   We also offer bursaries to student members who want to attend our conferences and other meetings supported by the Society.

Bursary Announcement

The Richard Jefferies Society has established a bursary to support work on Jefferies or related topics: highly suitable for agricultural history applicants.

Recent publications

A Vicar in Victorian Norfolk The Life and Times of Benjamin Armstrong (1817-1890), by Susanna Wade Martins, published by Boydell & Brewer.

The diaries of the Revd Benjamin Armstrong, for many years vicar of the market town of East Dereham, Norfolk, vividly portray rural life at a time of great change, when society became more fluid, railways allowed the economy to grow and develop, and the vote was extended. Dr Susanna Wade Martins was for many years editor of Rural History Today. Her previous publications include The East Anglian Countryside: Changing Landscapes 1870-1950 with Tom Williamson (2008), Coke of Norfolk, 1754-1842 (2009) and The Conservation Movement in Norfolk - A History (2015).

Jean Ila Curry had links with Herefordshire from an early age, when she knew many of the farms and farmers described in the book. She is an international economist by background with specialisms in international trade and regional economics. She worked as a consultant for the World Bank, UNIDO and other international agencies, as well as for the British government. She is a regular attendee at BAHS Spring Conferences. Her previous book, Three Centuries of a Herefordshire Village (2009) has recently been reprinted. Three Centuries Of East Herefordshire Farms And Families: 1700 Until Now, By Jean Ila Currie, published by Owlstone Press.

The Failure of Land Reform in Twentieth-Century England: The Triumph of Private Property, by Michael Tichelar, published by Routledge.

Based on a mixture of primary historical research and secondary sources, this book explores the reasons for the failure of the state in England during the twentieth century to regulate, tax, and control the market in land for the common or public good. Explaining a complex field of legislation and policy in accessible terms, the book concludes by asking what type of land reform might be relevant in the twenty-first century to address the current housing crisis, which seen in its widest context, has become the new land question of the modern era.

More volumes added to LIBRAL

The online LIBrary of Rural and Agricultural Literature now has over 400 digitized items uploaded to it, including the recently added 65 volumes of Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (1839 to 1914), 220 Board of Agriculture leaflets, 20 MAF bulletins and many other individual titles. To browse the collection sign up for LIBRAL here.

We continue to digitize new items and add them to the library, and to work with TannerRitchie Publishing to improve their MEMSOshell platform that hosts it. We welcome your suggestions for titles you’d like us to add and any other improvements you’d like to see.

(The LIBRAL 2.0 site has now closed, superceded by LIBRAL 3.0.)

Forthcoming conferences

Celebrating our Woodland Heritage: an international and interdisciplinary conference to be held at the University of Bradford 16-18 November 2018. Register here.

New Forest Pony Sale The Role of Commoning in the Maintenance of Landscape and Ecology: A New Forest, National and Global Perpective, a day conference to be held in Lyndhurst, 29 Oct. 2018. Programme | Poster (both PDF). Register here.

Publicity leaflet

The Society has a publicity leaflet. If you would like copies of the leaflet to distribute to potential members, or to leave at a location likely to be frequented by potential members, please contact us.

Work in Progress

If you don't already have an entry in the list do fill in the online form to create one. If you already have an entry, do check that it’s up to date and contact the Web Weaver to amend it. Researchers listed here have reported contacts being made with them as a result of their entry, making it a valuable resource.

New Boydell & Brewer Series

Boydell & Brewer, the leading independent publisher of academic works in History and the Humanities, announces the launch of a new series, Boydell Studies in Rural History, under the editorship of Professor Richard Hoyle.
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