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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.

Latest BAHS publications

Cover of current issue of Rural History Today

Agricultural History Review Volume 66 part 1 has been sent to be printed and the table of contents is now available.
Rural History Today issue 34, the first to be edited by Rebecca Ford, is available online.

Cover of current Agricultural History Review
Volume 62 is now ‘open access’ on this web site.

Work in Progress Spring Cleaning

If you created a Work in Progress entry before the beginning of this year, you should have received a personalised version of this letter [PDF]. Please read it, review your entry and let us know via the form that you have reviewed it.

If you don't already have an entry in the list do fill in the online form to create one. Researchers listed here have reported contacts being made with them as a result of their entry, making it a valuable resource.

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.


The LIBrary of Rural and Agricultural Literature: enthusiastic testers wanted!

Version 3.0 now has over 300 digitized items uploaded to it, including 72 volumes of Farmer's Magazine and 45 issues of Dairy World. We have been working with TannerRitchie Publishing to use their MEMSOshell platform to host our online library. We need feedback on the content and the user experience, to help us improve it and ensure that it meets your needs. Please sign up here if you are interested in helping us.

Please sign up for LIBRAL 3.0 here.

The LIBRAL 2.0 site will close on or before 10 January 2019, but has been superceded by LIBRAL 3.0.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Read more... Adobe PDF icon.

David Hey Memorial Meeting

David Hey The British Agricultural History Society, with the British Association for Local History, the British Records Society and the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society invite you to attend a celebration of the life and work of David Hey, at Channing Hall, Sheffield, on 23 June 2018.

Please book for this event by 18 June.
Full programme and booking details are here.

Rural History 2019

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.

Thirsk Prize awarded

The Society’s Spring Conference 2018 was held at the Cannington Campus of Bridgwater and Taunton College just outside Bridgwater, 26 to 28 March 2018. The varied programme included papers on Water Management in Britain; the Knight Family and the Reclamation of Exmoor Forest; the Economics of Grain Storage in England; Women’s Work in Early Modern England; and the Green Revolution. There was also a New Researchers session.
The Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize was awarded at the Conference to Dr Briony McDonagh for her book, Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700–1830. Presenting the prize, the President of the Society, Dr John Broad said,

‘The excellence of the field for the Thirsk Prize this year was such that all submissions would be worthy winners in a normal year. We found it extremely difficult to rank the books and indeed each of the four was ranked first or equal first by one of the judges. However we were ultimately unanimous in our decision to award the prize to Briony McDonagh for her book Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700–1830. She used both national samples and local case studies to illuminate how female landowners could be independent managers of their estates and shapers of the landscape. I am sure that Joan Thirsk would have warmed to both the subject matter and the quality of the argument and writing.’

Recent publication

People have always attached meaning to the landscape that surrounds them. In Storied Ground, published recently by Cambridge University Press, Paul Readman uncovers why landscape matters so much to the English people, exploring its particular importance in shaping English national identity amid the transformations of modernity.
The book takes us from the fells of the Lake District to the uplands of Northumberland; from the streetscapes of industrial Manchester to the heart of London. This panoramic journey reveals the significance, not only of the physical characteristics of landscapes, but also of the sense of the past, collective memories and cultural traditions that give these places their meaning. Between the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, Englishness extended far beyond the pastoral idyll of chocolate-box thatched cottages, waving fields of corn and quaint country churches. It was found in diverse locations - urban as well as rural, north as well as south - and it took strikingly diverse forms.

What’s On

Special Exhibition at the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Hants: Ancient and Remarkable Trees of the New Forest 21 April to 8 July. Discover and appreciate these ancient treasures of the New Forest in this unique exhibition by local photographer David Russell.
‘Farms in Crewkerne Past’, 24 March to 16 June at the Crewkerne and District Museum.
The Dales Countryside Museum is holding a special exhibition to celebrate the 50 years since the original publication of Life and Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales by Marie Hartley, which captured the last days of a disappearing way of life. We share the background to the book by iconic Dales authors Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby – who with their foresight and passion for collecting, founded the Museum in 1979. Original notes, photographs, sketches and artefacts give a glimpse into the everyday lives of Dales people.

Eling Tide Mill Experience reopened in April 2018, with an official opening attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, after the Grade II* listed tide mill, new visitor centre and their open spaces around Bartley Watermillpond and Goatee Beach, had been closed for a major refurbishment project. Read more about it on our related links page.