Get Adobe Reader

The BAHS is the national society for the study of the history of agriculture, rural society and the landscape of Britain and Ireland. The Society regularly updates this web site, with it online Library of Rural and Agricultural Literature (LIBRAL), online discussion Forums, Work in Progress list, and Related Links. In addition we publish a magazine, Rural History Today, as well as a scholarly journal, Agricultural History Review (both of which are available online), 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.

New arrangements for the Review

Professor Richard Hoyle is standing down as editor of Agricultural History Review after 20 years service. His successor will be Professor Paul Warde of Pembroke College, Cambridge, who will take charge from Volume 68. With immediate effect new article submissions to the Review should be sent to Professor Warde at (or use the online contact form).

Agricultural History Review, 67 part 2

For a variety of reasons (including this unnecessary election we are all enduring), the Review is running behind schedule and will now be published in February 2020.

Call for papers

The Folklore Society is holding their annual conference on Folklore, Learning and Literacies, 24-26 April 2020 in Central London, and they have published a call for papers.

Latest BAHS publications

Cover of current issue of Rural History Today

Agricultural History Review Volume 67 part 1 is available online.
Rural History Today issue 37 is now available online.

Cover of current Agricultural History Review

Rural Museums Network Regional Seminars

The 1940s Farm at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

If you are a non-specialist working with, or looking after, rural and agricultural collections in any role, the Rural Museums Network (RMN) has created a practical knowledge-development seminar specifically for you. This national programme, run regionally, is free to attend, and comes with a bursary.  Details.

Call for nominations

The Agricultural History Society has announced their call for nominations for their 1919 Awards.

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.

Winter Conference 2019

A celebration of the life and work of of Professor Alun Howkins (1947–2018)

This year the Winter Conference will be held on Saturday 7 December 2019, in Room 828, University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London,

Full programme and registration.

Note the change of location!
Sorry! Bbooking has closed.

Alun Howkins

Thirsk Prize 2020

The British Agricultural History Society is pleased to invite submissions for its annual Thirsk Prize. Books published for the first time in 2019 in the broad area of British and Irish rural history, or which use Britain and Ireland as comparators, are eligible. Submission is by sending a pdf of the work to the secretary of the prize committee by 12:00 noon on 13 January 2020. The Winner will be announced at the Society’s annual conference on April 2019. Full details of eligibility and how to submit can be found here [PDF].

Previous winners of the prize have been:
2017: Peter Jones, Agricultural Enlightenment: Knowledge, Technology and Nature, 1750-1840 (OUP)
2018: Briony McDonagh, Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700-1830 (Routledge)
2019: Paul Warde, The Invention of Sustainability: Nature and Destiny, c.1500-1870 (CUP).


Our online LIBrary of Rural and Agricultural Literature now comprises nearly 600 digitized items.

The chief news is that the Executive Committee has agreed to rent a Bookeye scanner for a period. This is a much more superior scanner than the one we have had access to before, being both faster and capable of doing tightly bound (and fatter) books. The scanner arrived at the beginning of November. At the moment we are still engaged in a battle of wills, with the scanner trying to bend us to its way of working and whilst we try to persuade the scanner to do what we want. But it will allow us to attack the big backlog we have accumulated of larger books and some of the classic serial publications. Watch out for some and meaty significant additions over the next few months.

To browse the collection sign up for LIBRAL here. If you already have an account go straight to LIBRAL. Please contact the Web Weaver if you have forgotten your log-in details.

The complete list of recently uploaded titles is:
  • Clater, Francis, Every man his own cattle doctor (5th edn, 1817)
  • Day and Sons (Crewe), Everyday farriery (13th edn, between 1885 and 1900)
  • Lawrence, Richard, An enquiry into the structure & animal oeconomy of the horse (1803?)
  • Luccock, John, An essay on wool (1809)
  • Pearson, Robert, Druggist, Every man his own horse, cattle, and sheep doctor (1811)
  • Clater, Francis, Every man his own farrier (18th edn, 1809)
  • Livingston, R.R., An essay on sheep, with a preface and explanatory notes by William Cobbett  (1811)
  • Johnston, James Finlay Weir, and Cameron, Charles Alexander, Elements of agricultural chemistry and geology (13th edn, 1883)
  • Cobbett, William, The English gardener (1845?)
  • Wrightson, John, Farm crops (1891)
  • Abercrombie, John, Gowans, William, and Mawe, Thomas, Every man his own gardener (New edn, revised and improved, with an appendix on forcing by William Gowans,1843)
  • Rogers, John, The fruit cultivator (1834)
  • Haggard, H. Rider, A farmer's year, being his commonplace book for 1898 (1899)

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.

If you have any books that you would think would be a useful addition to the library please contact the Web Weaver.

Spring Conference 2020

Wortley Hall from the gardens

We return to Wortley Hall Conference Centre near Sheffield for the 68th annual British Agricultural History Society Spring Conference, Historical Perspectives on Rural Economies, Societies, Landscapes and Environment, 6-8 April 2020. More details will be available here in the New Year.

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.

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.