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What’s it all about?

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.

Agricultural History Review 64.2

We apologise for the late running of Agricultural History Review volume 64 part 2. It will be available in the New Year.

Announcing the Joan Thirsk Prize 2017

The BAHS is proud to invite submissions for the first Joan Thirsk Prize, to be awarded for the best book in British and Irish rural or agrarian history published during 2016. The closing date for submissionsPDF is 9 January 2017.


It’s so easy to join the BAHS because we are now set up to use PayPal.

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Fill in an online form and pay via PayPal. You will also be able to renew your membership in this way.

Recent BAHS publications

Cover of current Agricultural History Review

The latest issue of Agricultural History Review is available online. It includes two articles about agricultural machinery: one in the setting of Shropshire and the other in Scotland; two articles about animal husbandry in what might be thought of as less-then-optimal places: rabbits in the urban area of London and dairy cattle in Southern Rhodesia; complemented by an article about the drainage of Hatfield Chase.
Rural History Today issue 31 is also available online, with articles about hop picking in the 20th and 21st centuries and grain milling in Anglo-Saxon times; a follow-up article about rats; an introduction to Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum, Norfolk and an article about Cusworth Hall.

Cover of current issue of Rural History Today


The Library of Irish and British Rural and Agricultural Literature
As a first step to creating this resource for rural historians, we have compiled a catalogue of 18th- and 19th-century literature on agricultural topics that have already been digitised and are available on a variety of Web sites. This is just the start.

We plan, over the coming months, to scan and digitise many more volumes ourselves, making them available here. The idea is to allow you to search across multiple volumes to find the topics that interest you.
Brittany cow Image of a Brittany cow from Dairy Stock by John Gamgee (1861), one of the many volumes already in LIBRAL

Work in Progress

The Work in Progress list, formerly published in Agricultural History Review, is now has over 70 entries, together with an online form for you to create your own entry, which will only take you a few minutes. Researchers listed here have reported other researchers contacting them as a result, 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.

Winter Conference 2016

Muck into Gold: Trade in Agricultural Goods, from the fourteenth to the twentieth century

Booking has now closed for the Society’s Winter Conference, which will take place on 3 December, from 10.30 to 16.30 at the IHR, WC1E 7HU.

The speakers will be: James Davis, Richard Hoyle, Sofia Henriques and Shane Hamilton.
Muck into Gold

More announcements...

New publication

Cover of Farmers, Consumers, Innovators: The world of Joan Thirsk

Joan Thirsk was the leading English agrarian historian of the late 20th century and one of the founder members of this Society. Based on a conference held in her honour (following her death in 2013), this book was intended not to look back but rather to identify Thirsk’s relevance for historians now, and to present new work that has been influenced and inspired by her. Many of the contributors are members of the BAHS.

University of Hertfordshire Press announces the publication of Farmers, Consumers, Innovators: The world of Joan Thirsk, edited by Richard Jones, Christopher Dyer, the latest volume in the Explorations in Local and Regional History series.

Inspired by Joan Thirsk’s revelation of a lively, varied and developing rural scene, the book pursues themes that extend her pioneering work in new ways. The chapters on regional differences, farming methods, conflicts over the use of land, shopping opportunities, fashion and consumption resonate with each other and present fresh insights into a world that was undergoing transformation well before the Agricultural Revolution.

New publication

Oxford University Press announces the publication of Agriculture: A Very Short Introduction by Paul Brassley and Richard Soffe.
‘The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.
These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.’ Good Reads.

Paul Brassley with his book

Paul spoke about Agriculture at the recent Ways With Words festival at Dartington Hall.


Rural History 2017, the Third conference of EurHO, will be held in Leuven, Belgium, 11-14 September.

Rural History 2017

Some of the panels are advertising for additional papers and the general call for papers will open on 1 December.
NUI Galway

The Centre for the Investigation of Transnational Encounters and the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class are delighted to release the call for papersPDF for their conference, Agrarian Reform and Resistance in an ‘Age of Globalization’: The Euro-American World, 1815-1914, to be held at the National University of Ireland, Galway. 2-3 June, 2017.